I was expecting a draw from this game so I was disappointed to see Crystal Palace secure a rare victory at The Valley with a 1-0 win over Charlton last night. It was 1968 when they last won there. Despite a harsh offside decision against Bradley Wright-Phillips in the first half, it would be difficult to say that it was an unfair result. Palace played us off the park for much of the game, securing 56 per cent of the possession.
There were a number of deficiencies in our play. We started to rely too much on the long ball, but Kermorgant was only able to play a limited role in the game. We also lacked width until Danny Green came on late in the second half. Our passing was less precise than that of Palace and our movement off the ball was often not good.
Wiggins put in a good cross, but the header from Wright-Phillips was saved. Hollands was out manoeuvred. Wiggins lost out in a duel and a Palace effort was just over. Wiggins turned provider again with a good cross, but Wright-Phillips was off target.
Zaha was causing all sorts of trouble to the home defence with his strength, pace and skill and it is a mystery why he has not been snapped up by a Premiership club. His first pull back from the goal line was blasted over by Dikgacoi. Then Zaha made another powerful weaving run and his cross found Glenn Murray. His effort was blocked by Hamer, but then the alert Cort had to clear Garvan's follow up off the line.
After Wiggins had tangled with Zaha, he was down or ages before play was stopped. He then had to be helped off and Wilson came on in his place. This did unbalance us and it would have been useful to have Evina on the bench. Stephens received a yellow card for getting too involved.
Cort conceded a corner when he could have allowed the ball to go off, but perhaps that reflects the pressure he felt he was under. Palace played the corner short and it has to be said it was hopeless. Palace then won another corner which was gathered by Hamer. Palace had two foul throws awarded against them, significant given the reluctance of officials to recognise them.
A free kick by Wilson was nodded on by Cort to Wright-Phillips, but although his header went past Speroni, the offside flag was raised, no doubt disappointing Ian Wright sitting in the stands.
Dale Stephens drove just over from distance. A Charlton corner followed good work by Wright-Phillips. In time added on Wright-Phillips was tripped, but the free kick by Jackson was saved by Speroni. There was still time for a Palace free kick.
Palace took the lead five minutes after the break when the Addicks failed to deal with a corner taken by Gavan. Delaney was unmarked as he headed the ball back to Dikgacol and the Springbok put in a fierce drive from 12 yards out to make it 0-1.
Crystal Palace then won a series of corners. Jackson was taken off and replaced by Fuller. Wilson was given a yellow card, providing Palace with a free kick in a potentially dangerous position, but they were not able to make anything of it. Fuller was receiving close attention from the Palace defenders and Jedinak received a yellow card for a foul. Charm merchant Bolasie then received a yellow for kicking the ball away and Murray subsequently also entered the referee's notebook.
There was an opportunity to level on 71 minutes when Cort nodded a Wilson free kick downwards, but Hollands scuffed wide. Fuller was just inches wide after good work by Solly.
In the four minutes added on Fuller had a deflected effort tipped on the bar by Speroni. Hamer came up for the corner and but for Garvan's efforts on the goal line would have scored an equaliser. Hamer then tried an overhead kick from the rebound. Wilson blasted over from a final half chance.
The usual suspects have come out of the woodwork to argue that Chris Powell has just three matches left, but that is ridiculous.
Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Michael Morrison. Responsibility for our defeat does not rest with him. He was tireless and strong in defence throughout. Hamerwas not really at fault for the goal and nearly scored towards the end of the match. Cort was very solid in defence and was up there for any set piece opportunities. The injury to Wiggins looked worrying, but he was not having the best of games before it happened. Solly was sometimes out muscled by the Palace players, but had a better second half, coming forward well. Jackson did not have the best of games and was eventually substituted and there are growing concerns about whether he can hack it at this level. Pritchard seemed to be out of his depth and certainly did not offer enough width. Hollands put in a decent shift. Stephens had a decent enough game without really imposing himself. He put in one good shot. Kermorgant was not very prominent, but that partly reflected the service he was receiving. Wright-Phillips was very energetic and it was not his fault that his goal was ruled offside when a Palace player on the ground was arguably playing him onside. Wilson did lack energy and commitment and tried his best, but quality was lacking. Fuller came very close to scoring. Green made a positice difference when he came on.Juneau the Soccer Cat has awarded the Hiss of the Match to the Nigels letting off firecrackers in the Jimmy Seed.