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November 23 2020 10.08pm

Saints bogey ended at last

December 14 2015

The Holmesdale Fanatics celebrated their 10th birthday to some effect

The Holmesdale Fanatics celebrated their 10th birthday to some effect

Jamesey joined the crowds at Selhurst on a windy day... Southampton were defeated 1-0 but it wasn't exactly a breeze.

For the second home game running, my train from Clapham Junction to Selhurst was packed with noisy away supporters.

The Saints lads were pleasant enough and one of their songs was "Can you hear the Palace sing...?"

As I left the train, I couldn't help muttering "you will, you will, my boys".

Apart from the considerable volume of noise from where I sit in the Arthur Wait, it was the Holmesdale Fanatics' 10th anniversary and we could safely predict some ear-shattering support from Block B.

After our 5-1- demolition job on Newcastle (Nov 28) and hard-fought but extremely satisfying draw away to Everton (Dec 7), what would the afternoon bring against Southampton (Dec 12)?

The Saints were never going to be an easy ride like the Magpies but I was glad to see WILFRIED ZAHA back in the starting line-up. In my view he might have made a difference to the game at Goodison.

As the first half progressed the Eagles tore into the opposition and the whole team looked in top form. Regrettably so was the Saints keeper, Paulo Gazzaniga, who was determined that "they shall not pass" when it came to several Palace goal attempts.

Whatever the future holds for CPFC and Alan Pardew, respectively, there can be little doubt that the signing of one of Pards' previous charges in the north-east, Yohan Cabaye, was a a masterstroke.

The supremely talented midfielder has made a massive contribution to our success since his arrival and, of course, who should break the deadlock towards the end of the first period but l'homme himself.

Seizing on to a Yannick Bolasie cross, after ghosting into the box, he banged the ball into the net and scored the goal that won the match for the Eagles.

When a team makes such a collectively good display it is perhaps unfair to single out individuals.

But apart from Cabaye and Bolasie, keeper Wayne Hennessey made two crucial saves that kept the three points at Sellhurst. In the first half, he tipped what looked like a cast-iron goal over the crossbar and right in the dying minutes blocked a one-on-one opportunity for Shane Long who was clean through.

As a result of the afternoon's endeavours, CPFC stay 6th in the GiveustheTVdosh League and only a mini-cricket score from Liverpool against WBA on Sunday afternoon could alter that.

Southampton are in the bottom half of the table and seem to have lost their momentum. Perhaps selling off their best players to Liverpool is beginning to tell?

Manager Ronald Koeman was somewhat sniffy in his post-match MOTD interview. I can't think why, as his side were lucky not to have lost by a bigger margin.

To end on a broader football topic, it was interesting to see that England and Wales are in the same group at the start of the Euros in France next summer.

CPFC, of course, have three Welsh internationals on the books - Joe Ledley, Jonny Williams and one of the heroes of the Saints game, Wayne Hennessey.

As a Celt (Welsh/Scottish forebears), domiciled in London for most of my life, I have always fervently supported the English football team.

There are no English internationals at Selhurst unless Woyboy changes his mind in the coming months and gives a deserved second chance to ZAHA and a first chance to the excellent Scott Dann.

But it seems likely that the England v Wales game might see three Eagles representing the Red Dragon side.

Would any Palace/England supporters be tempted to switch their allegiance to the Welsh if that were to happen? It would be interesting to know...


Email Jamesey with your comments to jevans3704@aol.com

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