Saturday, January 19, 2008

Like having a Mistress

Supporting another side is a private hell. Guilt and Pleasure, mixed. Today I toddled off to Selhurst Park, so much was I missing footie, the ritual of pint, football, goals (maybe), curry.

I'd been debating it a while, then took the plunge and bought a ticket via the clubs website.

I sat near the goal, and to be frank, it was fun - more fun than the City of Manchester Stadium is, at times, thought not as much fun as Maine Rd was. I was sat right next to the goal at the front and its at ground level you get a real sense of the speed and athleticism of the players - awesome these days, these guys run and run.

And I started to respect the match officials - the game is so fast, no wonder they miss things. I don't envy them for a minute, and by the middle of the second half the Palace fans were really administering stick.

Infact I had a great time; way better than I had expected. I thought the footie was - as my Palace supporter friend predicted - not as tactical as in the Premiership. Yet you couldn't fault the energy and commitment of the players.

Palace have clearly been energised by Neil Warnock. Top scorer Clint Morrison ranged all over the place looking dangerous, and Bristol City basically resorted to playing Showunmi on his own up front - the Palace goalkeeper Speroni was tested but had a great game.

Palace got a lucky goal early on in the first half, but piled on the pressure in the second and were rewarded with a beautiful one headed in - not surprised the BCFC were upset although I didn't see the reported crowd trouble, so it must really have been handbags.

I snapped away with my phone and the results are here.

Footie aside I liked the family atmosphere and I get the impression the club is really going somewhere. I'd tip them for a play off place and yes, I'll be back.

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