We are spoilt you know. Not just by being fortunate enough to support a club with a proud history and a team that has remained in the upper reaches of English and European football for many years, but also because we get to witness games in some great stadia with excellent facilities.

Grounds like Selhurst Park we all remember going to week-in week-out down the years (certainly those of us over a certain age!) and Saturday brought back many memories on that front. Great memories too but it also emphasised how things in football have changed. Palace are on their way to modernising their own facilities but for a couple of hours it was an afternoon full of nostalgia.

The gap between Saturday and the last time we headed to this part of south London was demonstrated by the fact the pub our group used to frequent, be it against Palace or Charlton or Wimbledon when they used Selhurst as their temporary home, is now a religious centre! A small amount of pre-planning had us in a new location and enjoying pre-match fare in the usual fashion.

Overall, considering how the game panned out, our 2-0 victory is nothing less than a satisfactory outcome. Win first, win pretty next. Although we manage to achieve both on the majority of occasions, the former has to be the priority.

Despite dominating the first period our play was a little disjointed at times with many of our passes going astray, unusual given that this is the strongest aspect of our game. Olly, Santi and Rambo all went close however and the foul on Serge could have seen a penalty given on another day.

Level at half-time, we were still confident we could get a win during the second period.

With the potential first-half penalty fresh in the memory, it was a case of deja-vu early in the second. Serge was fouled again, this time there was no doubt as to the decision and Mikel stepped up to slot home an opener that would prove even more crucial than we realised at the time.

Pushing for that second goal we were caught napping a little, resulting in a red card for Mikel. Very harsh for a number of reasons but it did emphasise how games can change in an instant.

Our hosts came more into the game as a result and Chezz's contribution during this time cannot be underestimated. Two fantastic saves spring to mind.

We still looked dangerous on the break, despite being a man down, and Rambo eventually crossed for Olly to nod home the game-clinching second.

Satisfying on a difficult afternoon and three more massive points.

The Capital One Cup comes next with an extremely stern test on Tuesday night against Chelsea.

As always in this competition it promises to be an interesting night, whatever the outcome.

Victoria Concordia Crescit


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Frank Stubbs 28 Oct 2013