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June 2 2023 6.50pm

Palace 3 - 2 Tranmere Rovers

Saturday November 18 2000 - League

We, as Palace fans, have put up with quite a lot of interesting (for want of a better word) situations in the last couple of years. First Goldberg, administration, the refusal to lay down and die as a club, the fans rallying behind the team and the club, salvation and now hopefully a bright new future.

Well we all remember the match last season, 2 - 0 and cruising and then we let it slip and it finished 2-2. With our good form and fortune - we can beat these, can't we?

These were my feelings pre-match, as I took my seat and saw the rest of our merry band of supporters in the Holmesdale and the other stands, I thought we could pull off a good performance and hopefully a win...

The first 11 minutes of this game completely dispelled that thought. Palace, seemed to be like rabbits caught in the headlights every time Tranmere came forward. As early as the 6th minute, Paul Rideout had a chance which four Palace defenders could not seem to collectively deal with and fortunately a striker of higher calibre would have punished us. Rideout did not.

It made no difference as after another Tranmere attack four minutes later, Jason Koumas nicked the ball from Fan Zhiyi (who was having a very unauspicous start to this match, uncharacteristically) then ran 15 yards, side-stepping past Mullins and firing a shot past Kolinko from close range. Once again another collective display of amnesia from the Palace defence and the score was 0-1.

It was looking like Grimsby all over again, with no collective responsibility and poor defending with half-hearted challenges and no communication as a team. But this time, whereas fortune followed the away side that day, Lady Luck was to shine on us this time.

After 16 minutes, Joe Murphy made a poor clearance, which fell to the feet of on-loan defender Steve Staunton, who 45 yards out from goal, chipped an audacious ball towards the Tranmere goal. The Holmesdale was transfixed - all eyes was on this ball which was having snow on top of it it was so high up, it bounced over Murphy and nestled into the top corner of the goal.

For a split second - no one knew what to do - then pure pandamonuim broke out - WHAT A GOAL!!!! AMAZING ...everyone ran to congratulate Staunton, who casually raised his hands in the air with an air of: "I do this all the time!" Who cares? 1 -1 !

So with luck on our side, its only going to be better from here... but then Palace were back on the laurels and had no real answer to the Tranmere attacks once again. Fan still has not got into the match and the disjointment at the back led to Palace going behind again... after 26 minutes a Tranmere corner was well saved by Kolinko but he only suceeded in pushing the ball out to Clint Hill, who could not miss from about 3 yards... 1-2.

Tranmere, to thier credit kept on coming forward and corner , after corner - Palace under pressure. I'm sure I was nt the only one to be relieved at the scoreline only showed a one goal deficit at half time. I hoped, along with many others at the restart - that things would improve. They did, and how!

Five minutes gone and Palace have a free kick taken by Staunton, corner, Tommy Black takes it , headed out, back to Gray, off the line, Black, miscue, Pollock, wide from 4 yards!!!! (It's like a pinball machine!!!!) Now comes the pressure - Black misses a half chance, three Palace corners to none, but to no avail as well.

At this point, I'm ready to admit that I felt it wasn't going to be our day, but I don't mind losing as long as we lose fairly. Tranmere (I mention nothing about Scousers and cheating) were bang out of order as foul after foul was commited on the Doogster with no rebukement from the referee Mr Brandwood, who obviusly does not see shirtpulling in the penalty area as a bookable offence - never mind the penalty.

The last straw was when Doogie was fouled as he pulled away from the last Tranmere defender and (to put this politely) was 'taken out' by the last man. The ref books the defender and the chance goes away. The referee is a cheating Scouser! Then from a Palace throw, Morrison hooks in a unbelievable chance - 2- 2 but no - disallowed, why? for what ?, only the ref can tell. REFIE IS ON A BUNG!

For the next 20 minutes, Palace really took the game to Tranmere ... then the moments of madness were to follow. Smithy had already taken off the battered and bruised Doogster for Wayne Carlisle and then put on his namesake Jamie on for Gray. Fan moves to go up front and Black takes a more central positon up front. Then, with the mayhem the ever improving Fan is causing, Hayden Mullins heads the ball on to Jamie Pollock and he lashed the ball so hard before we or Murphy, the dodgiest Scouser since Joey from Bread!, could see it, 2 -2 and fully deserved.

If that wasn't enough, another Mullins header from some more Palace pressure was only parried by Murphy and Morrison's killer first touch (off his knee) knocked it over the now prostrate Murphy and his next touch lashed it in from five yards, 3 -2 and cue more pandamonium.

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! TAKE THAT YOU CHEATING SCOUSE (Choose your own expletive here)!!!!! Just proves that by playing fair honest football, you can get a result, and like the Murphys - I'm not bitter.


Kolinko - (7/10) - Alex is really coming on now, great saves but was let down by poor defending. Austin - (6/10) - Gave his all once again. Heart of the defence. Fan - (6/10) - Poor start, but still what a second half from the big man, causes all sorts of havoc and gives his all. Mullins (6/10) Another slow start, but second half worked so hard and set up the two crucial goals. Rodger - (5/10). A below par performance from Simon, wayward passing and some late challenges. Can do better. Freedman (7/10) Kicked all over the place and never stopped working - he deserved something for his efforts. Morrison (7/10) Never gave up and scored the crucial winner - goal number 9 this season. TAKE HIM OFF THE LIST. Black (6/10) Ran his heart out for little reward, becoming a marked man though. Gray (6/10) Toiled hard but another slow start from Julian. Could do better. Ran his socks off though. Pollock (8/10) Worked so hard and another goal to show for his efforts. The heartbeat of the club. Staunton (7/10) Amazing goal and great performance from the loanster. Hope we can keep him.


Carlisle - (5/10) Ran his heart out and caused real havoc on the right. Only had 15 mins though. Smith - (6/10) Better from Jamie, worked hard too in his 20 mins. Hope he has his head straight now.

Chant of the match - What's it like to have no job!

Post match comments

Palace boss Alan Smith said: "We became a bit of a five-a-side team in the first half.

"We are a team that has taste and get the ball up front. In the second half we were psychologically stronger than Tranmere, we were sure we could get the three points and that's what we did.

"It would have been a disgrace not to win that game. I feel the way we played in the second half no other First Division team could have touched us.

"We've gone up to 17th position and we took 10 points out of 12. John Aldridge's team play just like him - good, honest, passionate football."

Tranmere manager John Aldridge said: "Shambolic, an absolute disgrace. Never have I seen us play so badly.

"If you can't pass the ball you shouldn't be on the pitch. I told them to come out in the second half and win it but we didn't. We didn't deserve to be on the pitch.

"Steve Staunton scored a good goal but we couldn't clear the ball, we were disgraceful. You won't see us play another match like that, if we do I'm a bad manager.

"I can't accept that kind of play today and the boys will be in tomorrow. If I'm feeling as bad as I am then they're going to feel it also, if they don't they shouldn't be at this club."

Tranmere Rovers (H) Photos From The Terrace Photos

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Match Stats

Ground: Selhurst Park (Attendance: 14221)

Palace: Crystal Palace

Kolinko, Austin, Zhiyi, Mullins, Rodger, Freedman (Carlisle 75), C. Morrison, Black, Gray (Smith 71), Pollock, Staunton.

Subs not used: Thomson, Gregg, Harrison.

Booked: -

Goals: Staunton 15, Pollock 83, C. Morrison 86

Tranmere Rovers: Murphy, Yates, Roberts, Allison, Challinor, Hill, Parkinson (Gill 66), S. Taylor (Morgan 75), Koumas, Rideout, Flynn.

Subs not used: Achterberg, Henry, Hazell.

Booked: Hill, Allison.

Goals: Koumas 12, Hill 26.

Referee: J Brandwood (Lichfield)

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