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All in the past - Bristol City

March 8 2010

Selhurst Park

Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace face Bristol City in one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of the season, with revenge firmly on our minds, writes Simon Pophale.

There is no doubt that the recent history between these two clubs has added spice to this match, this is one of those times that we can safely say we hold the upper hand at Selhurst (and the Nest) as out of the 34 league matches at our grounds, we have won 22 of them.

Bristol City have only triumphed here five times in the league - discounting the play-offs and cup ties - and you have to go back 48 years for a home league defeat to the Robins.

The early years –Goals, Goals, Goals!

Matches against Bristol City go right back to our formative years in the league and our first season in the Second Division, in 1921/22. The first couple of meetings passed off in a 1-1 draw and the following season, with us triumphing 1-0.

However, the next couple saw us hit five out of the seven scored on Wednesday September 23rd 1925, four out of the six in the home match during the 1926/27 season, a 3-1 win in 1934/35 but the biggest win came in the 1935/36 season when we put six past Bristol City without reply.

We won by the odd goal in five in the 1938/39 season and following the resumption of the league programme in the post Second World War years, we hit four against the West Country outfit, again keeping clean sheets in 1947/48 and 1948/49.

The Cider Empire Strikes Back... for a few seasons

Bristol City tasted league victory for the first time at Selhurst in the 1935/36 season but they would have to wait to build on this single goal victory until the 1952/53 season. This started a period of four matches where Bristol would leave South London with all the points as they won 3-1 in 1952/53,2-1 in 1953/54 and 1954/55.

Bristol City gained promotion at the end of this season to the Second Division as Champions of Division Three (South) and we only met again in the 1961/62 season, back in the third tier and they triumphed again, this time 3-2.

The long unbeaten run

Since then, no matter whether it has been Divisions One, Two or Three, Bristol City cannot buy a win down South in the League. The 1960s saw us cross swords in seven of the 10 seasons during this decade and it became our home banker as we won the next six fixtures.

Although since the 1970s we have only played in the League four times, until the 2007/08 season, Bristol City fans can only look to the one and only top flight meeting of the sides in the 1979/80 season for any scraps of comfort as they took their only points back West with a 1-1 draw. We were in the top five at the time and we had the last laugh at the end of the season as Bristol City were relegated.

We were again on the crest of a wave back in the 1993/94 season as we trounced the Robins 4-1 on our way to the Division One title and 2-1 back in 1998/99, as we tried to bounce back from relegation from the Premiership.

On their return to the second tier in 2007/08, Clinton Morrison and Mark Hudson scored to extend our unbeaten run to 15 matches in a 2-0 win, which propelled us to towards the play-offs and to those matches against City in them.

Last time out

The last time Bristol City came to town, they were hounded out 4-2 in a match which we sought to exact revenge following those play-off defeats.

With a goal disallowed but two more efforts counting in the first 15 minutes from John Oster and Sean Scannell had us in control. Dele Adebola reduced the arrears before half-time but further goals from Craig Beattie and Jose Fonte sealed the win, even though Nicky Maynard reduced the deficit towards the end.

The reasons for revenge

It could be said with the pantomime season long since passed, Gary Johnson and his Bristol City team coming to town are cast firmly as the panto villains (had the match been played in January as originally scheduled).

With all the recent aggro of recent seasons (most of which took place at Ashton Gate) with the extra minutes that appeared from nowhere in 2007/08, the play-off heart break, the bust-ups in the tunnel, to the Freddie Sears “goal” that never stood this season.

This match is set against the backdrop of acrimony and revenge, not only being a dish best served cold, should be served between the times of 20:00 and 22:00 this Tuesday.

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