Pre-match Preview: Crystal Palace

Well I’ve only just recovered from my Brighton jollies only to get back on the road just 5 days later. Indeed games are now coming thick and fast as we enter a critical few weeks of the season.

It is also another long journey, this time to South London to play Crystal Palace. Google maps advises the quickest road journey to be some 176 miles taking 4 hours and 13 mins via the M4. Obviously the free official coaches are the best value but if you can afford it, I would  recommend the train. Stoke to London Euston (1 hr 30 mins), the underground to Victoria (using the Victoria Line (blue) – 15 mins), before catching another train to either Selhurst, Thornton Heath or Norwood Junction (15 mins).


You then have an approximate 15 minute walk to the ground itself. I’ll be honest, I enjoy to have the freedom to moderately drink some lager on my travels which the official coaches do not allow. Hence why I’ll be on the 1112 service out of Stoke on Trent tomorrow.

I quite like Selhurst Park, it is always atmospheric and plenty of local boozers to enjoy. Weatherspoons is always busy, I particularly like The Railway Bar in Thornton Heath. It has cheap ale, 4 screens for the dinner time football, hot dogs on the go, along with a friendly atmosphere.

Despite the convenient local provisions, this has not been a happy hunting ground for us. In fact you have to go back to 2007 (and 7 games) when we last took 3 points which incidentally was during our promotion season to the Premier League. Since then, we have lost 4 and drawn 2 of our previous 6 visits. My first ever excursion to Selhurst Park was in 1994 when we were defeated 4-1 – did Mark Stein score a late consolation for us  ?, I have a vague memory. We didn’t even have mobile phones then. The ground itself has changed a lot since 1994 when I found myself stood behind the goal fully exposed to the wind and rain completing a miserable memory. Tomorrow however, the Stokies will be located with a side on view complete with a Stadium roof and you can use a mobile phone to contact people should you so desire.

Roy Hodgson is now the Palace Gaffer. To be honest I still haven’t forgiven him for that Iceland fiasco last summer. He is starting to get his side a bit more organised and with Wilfried Zaha in their team we must be on our A game.

Anyway fellow supporters, see you all tomorrow. I am looking forward to watching the famous Crystal girls pre-match and enjoying the Potters claim a rare 3 points in this part of London.


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