(actual date of post – 27 August)
Match four – vs Bournemouth home
Total mileage 85 miles
First, the accident. Just a small spill on the way home, involving no-one but myself. No serious damage: just a bruised elbow and ego. I rolled gently up to the traffic lights at Wallington Green as the lights turned red, changing down gear as I did so. However, I clearly hadn’t got properly into gear: as I went to pull away when the lights changed, the chain jammed and came off – and so did I. Luckily I was at the front of the traffic and the car behind hadn’t started moving. These things happen occasionally (to me, at least) though it doesn’t bode well for the longer rides! Oh well.
As for the match – it was the stereotyped game of two halves. Bournemouth outplayed us in the first half and scored early. We then wasted the opportunity to get level when Yohan Cabeye’s poor penalty was saved. In the end, it was a relief to be only 1-0 down at half time – and we had new keeper ‘Steeeeeeeeve’ to thank for that with a sharp one-on-one save as Bournemouth cut us open.
Pardew stuck with the same team at half time, but shifted round the formation and the team upped the tempo. It was all Palace, but the goal just would not come, even when Zaha and Lee were introduced from the bench to give fresh legs and fresh invention. When the linesman indicated four minutes of injury time, it looked to all the world that it would be the three 1-0 defeats in three games. But even though we’ve paid a club record for a new forward, it appears defender Scott Dann remains the go to man when we need a goal: his towering header deep in injury time earned Palace a deserved point.
Next weekend is the international break so no match. The first game after is the first of the big trips – away to Middlesbrough – so then the challenge really begins.