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May 17 2021 11.56am

Right Royal stalemate

October 30 2011

Selhurst Park

Selhurst Park

Despite only a draw with Reading, the Eagles moved up to third in the Championship table, reports Jamesey.

By the standards of recent seasons, a massive crowd of 21,000 turned up at Selhurst on a mild autumn afternoon (Oct 29).

The entire Reading visiting contingent seemed to have headed for Billy's chippie (formerly the Lap Hing). Maybe someone had recommended it as a gourmet outlet on the club website but a half-hour queue behind the massed blue-and-white hoops mob at 1.30pm for my customary roe and fishcake was hardly worth the bother?

Whoever decides the musical policy at Selhurst before the game had found a new way of torturing our earholes. Some lady called "I am Beyonce" (which she patently wasn't as Beyonce performs in rather bigger arenas, is much better looking and can sing in tune) pranced about to no apparent purpose.

Anyway leaving that aside, a real major new talent emerged towards the end of the first half.

He shot out of the away supporters' area of the Arthur Wait, streaked and swerved at amazing speed in front of the Croydon Advertiser stand and appeared to find refuge under the Main Stand. At half time he emerged again brilliantly avoiding all tackles and shimmied along the touchline. At one point he looked as though he had entered the dug-out but changed his mind and exited under the family area.

Yes, that fox had more ability than most of the players on the field. I salute you, Reynard.

What with Kayla the eagle swooping and soaring before kick-off, we only needed a herd of flying elephants in the second half to make Selhurst a serious rival to the Moscow State Circus.

But seriously folks, as for the game itself. Well, we kept a clean sheet and went up a place in the table so any serious gripes would be totally out of order. And, make no mistake, Reading looked a tougher proposition than their position in the table suggested. If the fates decree that we will be promotion candidates next April, I don't think the Royals will be far away.

However I thought we were rather disjointed in the first half although WILFRIED ZAHA scared the tripes out of the Reading defenders and Jonathan Williams looked really sharp. Glenn Murray seemed lonely in front and got little to chew on.

I thought the Royals looked more like scoring than the Eagles although there were narrow misses from both teams.

When substitutes Darren Ambrose and Jonathan Parr came on towards the end of the game, we looked far more threatening although there was a horrible moment when the Royals scored towards the end of injury time. Fortunately the goal was disallowed.

Another important event of the day was, of course, the draw for the Carling Cup quarter finals and we came out of the hat with a glamorous away game against Manchester United.

My last visit to Old Trafford was coming up to seven years ago and was also a league cup tie. We lost the game 2-0 but it was a great night out and after an overnight stop-over the chance to have good scout around the centre of Manchester.

I'm not sure whether I want to go again but even if the Palace ticket allocation sells out there should be plenty of seats in other parts of the ground which I would think MUFC won't be averse to selling on-line.

But for the moment let's worry about the visit of our friends from Portsmouth on Tuesday (Nov 1). They always used to bring a large and vocal away support with them but I don't know whether that still prevails. We shall see.

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