Thursday, 21 February 2013

19/02/13 League Bristol City (h) 2-1 win

Night games at Selhurst are usually good atmospheres

After the convincing win over Boro in the weekend game, expectations were high ahead of kick off and the large crowd for a midweek game proved such.

Palace started slowly against a struggling Bristol City who have been a thorn in our side for a while now. A lack of clear cut opportunities until we got a hold of the game and produced some great football in a twenty minute spell. In this spell, Jedinak was the catalyst, bringing both Zaha and Murray into the game. It was Bolasie that went closest with a speculative overhead kick that left the crowd gasping as it hit the cross bar. A truly wonderful moment of skill from the former City player, which would have certainly silenced the critics in the away end had it hit the back of the net instead. The lead eventually came from Murray who appeared to have been behind the play but stuck a toe out at full stretch which was enough to put it past the keeper. It could have been two before half time with Jazz Richards finishing off a fine move but the goal was disallowed. Later to be suggested by the camera replays that it was a very tight call indeed.

The second half began in similar vein and it wasn’t until the introduction of Phillips and Dobbie fifteen in that we looked likely to grab a second and with that all three points. Replacing both Williams and Zaha, to some surprise, but it was noticed that Wilf came out for the second half carrying a knock from watching him warm up. The same was said of Williams after the game. But there was no doubt that the changes actually changed the game. A free kick on the edge of area was fired home by Dobbie to seal an unconvincing win. Phillips tried to increase the lead with a screamer that was destined for the top corner only for the visiting keeper to save well. The visitors did get a consolation but it was from the hapless Jonny Parr who put into his own net. He was having a torrid time at left back, not through a particular opponent making it so, just an off game. And it was Zaha that let him know about it more often than not which wasn’t helpful. It was clear he knew he was having a bad game, he didn’t need anyone to tell him he was. He should have had support rather than criticism.

The number 17 is the main man
So the goal machine that is Glen Murray looks like breaking the 30 goal barrier for the season sooner rather than later. His goal against City was number 28 of an incredible season for him and he is thankful to his team mates for the service. He spoke to BBC London 94.9 “I've never had a season like this and I don't think many strikers do. A lot of it is down to the rest of the team. It makes my job easy when there are that many crosses and that much quality around me. I've scored numerous tap-ins but that ball has got to get over there. All I've got to do is concentrate on losing my man and if they can find me my job is pretty simple. They are all sorts of goals but that is what the guys are putting in the box. I have just got to get on the end of them. You just take every game as it comes as you never know when the goals might stop. Luckily I haven't been injured much this season. I was injured at the start of the season but apart from that I was rested for the FA Cup and was banned at Hull. I've had a good run in the team.”

Boss Ian Holloway said: "That’s six points from two games and it's a long way to go yet. But we are improving all the time and it has been a good night. It's exciting times for us. It all bodes well and let's see what we can do. There are some big games coming up for us. It's another win to notch up and we move on to the next one. Glen is a phenomenal player. I never realised how good he was until I worked with him every day. The wide boys benefit from his presence and the challenges he puts in. I need to get them moving around him a little bit more and free him up a little bit more because he brings people into the game so well. I have got a list of good players. Believe it or not, Aaron is playing out of his skin in training but can't get a game because Murray is playing so well. It is all about the intensity of the group"   

View from The Eagles Beak; A win without playing well is not a term often used to described Palace but this was it. A dirty result but three points and keeps the momentum.

01 Speroni

27 Delaney

28 Ramage

03 Richards

04 Parr

07 Bolasie – booked (Butterfield 78’)

08 Dikgacoi

15 Jedinak

20 Williams (Dobbie 60’ – GOAL 64’)

16 Zaha (K Phillips 60’)

17 Murray GOAL 35’

Unused substitutes; 34 Price, 21 Moxey, 12 Marrow, 18 Wilbraham

Referee; Hooper
Attendance; 16,191

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