April 10 2011
It was no surprise to lose another away game but the Scunnies stuffing QPR certainly spelled danger, reflects Jamesey.
I listened to our 2-1 customary defeat at Ipswich (April 9) and, to be fair, the commentary gave the impression of another somewhat clueless Palace performance.
So it was surprising and quite encouraging to read some eye-witness HOL members' views on the game, even allowing for a natural supporters' bias.
Quite a few members saw us as the superior team who outplayed the Tractor Boys but were unable to capitalise on the chances created. OK, missed chances don't win football matches but at least we are belatedly going in the right direction.
However, below us things took a decided turn for the worse. Apart from Sheffield Utd who have the stigma of doom written all over them, Preston got themselves a point down in Portsmouth, and Scunthorpe defied all the odds with a home dismantling of high-flyers QPR, 4-1.
So our fellow strugglers are no longer turning in results to keep what was a decent-sized gap between us and them.
Depending on what happens at our trip to Leicester on Tuesday, our next home fixture against The Iron takes on a massive importance. The lads from Lincs looke like the team that could possibly hop above us and send us down to the third tier.
You would have to be a supreme optimist to expect anything at the Walkers Stadium. Leicester, as I write, are currently only a handful of points from the play-off posiitions and have only lost four times at home all season.
A daunting prospect but, of course, you never know with football. If results were a foregone conclusion, there wouldn't be much point playing at all.
The Scunthorpe situation has a strong parallel with another Palace "tragedy" back in 1993 which I remember with great sadness.
The Tractor Boys visited Selhurst on May 1 1993 and the Eagles won the match 3-1. If my old memory is correct the team did a lap of honour to celebrate what looked like certain survival in the Loadsacash League.
We drew 0-0 with Man City at Maine Road during the week, so our hopes rose even higher.
Looking back now, that lap of honour was one of the biggest mistakes we ever made.
I was at Highbury on Saturday, May 8, and left the ground tearfully after Arsenal beat us 3-0.
What had happened was that a certain team called Oldham Athletic had, against all logical expectations, won their last three games and jumped ahead of us on a tiny advantage in goal difference.
I travelled back to south London that day as a desolated supporter of a second division team and that really hurt after four seasons in the top tier and not always the underdog we would be these days. The gap between the big money clubs and the rest had not widened to such a degree in 1993.
So in the unlikely event of Scunny winning a few more games and hopping above us, would I be that gutted now? The answer has to be No. I would be sad, but in recent years we haven't reached any great heights to fall from.
I'll be there in my season ticket seat for however many more seasons I am granted whatever division we are in, and that's that...
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