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Bore draw to end year

December 30 2015

Swansea on the offensive as Yohan Cabaye runs to stifle an attack during the goalless draw.

Swansea on the offensive as Yohan Cabaye runs to stifle an attack during the goalless draw.

As the season reached half-way point, Swansea City were the visitors at Selhurst. Jamesey joined the customary near-full capacity throng.

Palace travelled to Bournemouth on Boxing Day and the result, a second no-score draw of the season, was a pleasing result tor both clubs.

The Cherries obviously hoped for a victory but a precious point continued their good run and kept them out of the relegation stakes.

An away point is nearly always satisfying and Alan Pardew was pleased with the outcome as well.

For some reason my paid-for TV stream service had an HD quality channel for every Stacksocash League game except Bournemouth, so it had to be Palace Player which is a far more reliable audio link than it used to be.

It seemed an entertaining enough game despite the lack of goals and quite a few chances were missed, especially one gilt-edged effort from Glenn Murray, late of CPFC. Thanks for that, Glenn.

The Bank Holiday game (Dec 28) was frankly a different kettle of fish.

Although the visitors had their moments, with Bafetimbi Gomis looking dangerous, the Swans game plan featured niggling fouls and time-wasting.

i don't often have a go at referees in these columns but Mr Swarbrick turned a blind eye to a bagload of fouls inflicted by the Swans.

Wilfried Zaha had obviously been pinpointed as top danger man and was pushed, pulled, kicked and tripped from coal hole to breakfast time - many of them ignored by the officials.

Unfortunately, Wilf's dramatic reactions and vocal appeals to the ref don't do him that much good. All skilled players, such as he, have to get used to strong treatment and he should have learned to live with it by now.

A reputation as a drama queen, however well justified, does a player no good at all in the eyes of officials.

I remember seeing a photo of the late, great George Best's legs after a typical game.

The said appendages were a colourful montage of gashes, scrapes and bruises.

Admittedly that was in the days of ruthless tackles and specialised defensive assassins. But did George complain? Of course not, he just poured another drink after the game...

The Showusthemoulah League this season is one of the most interesting for many years.

As I write, we can proudly see CPFC as the fifth best side in England Wales (I include Wales in honour of Messrs Jonny Williams, Joe Ledley and Wayne Hennessey).

There is also the incredible performance of Leicester City and the outstanding displays of other unfashionable clubs like Watford and Stoke to confound the pundits.

It is certainly the Season of the Underdogs but there is a price to pay of course.

The months of January and February are often the time when the smaller outfits become stretched with no reserves of top-rate manpower to back them up.

In the case of the Eagles, the lack of a goal scorer and losses through suspension and injury to key players like Yannick Bolasie, Damien Delaney and Connor Wickham are a big disadvantage.

And, of course, Mr Swarbrick chose to show a yellow to Yohan Cabaye in the first period for a far more innocuous foul than many of the Swans' lunges and trips which went unnoticed.

Thanks a bunch, referee, for making the prime weapon in our armoury ineligible for our next fixture against Chelsea.

And so, at the final whistle it was the second 0-0 running and not a very entertaining football match.

But when you are 5th in the league one would have to be the ultimate churl to complain. So I, for one, am not and am keeping everything crossed for as few injuries and suspensions as possible in the next couple of months.

Incidentally the news has just broken of the departure back to Chelsea from whence he came of loanee Patrick Bamford.

That was at his own request and he has petulantly declared that he wasn't getting enough playing time.

His second half performance against the Swans following on from other displays in earlier games plainly demonstrated why he wasn't getting much playing time. He was no blinking use, that's why.

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