Match CentreMemory Lane

Memory Lane – Tottenham Hotspur

This season, I’m walking down memory lane to go back through my 24 years and over 600 games of watching Palace.

For each home game, I’ll reflect on the highs and lows that I’ve seen against our opposition. Some clubs, I’ve got a rich history of great Palace moments, and for others, there’s been limited encounters but I’ll try to capture the emotion, context and excitement of the Palace life.

Tottenham Hotspur

What is it about North London teams? My record against Tottenham is nearly as miserable as our record against Arsenal. Thank god we’ve never played Barnet in a competitive match! Although for me, this match always has a little bit of extra spice as one of my brothers unexplainably decided to ignore the family team and support Spurs.

Highlight

Tottenham…0
Palace…1 (Kelly)
21st February 2016, FA Cup Round 5

Tottenham: Vorm, Walker, Dier, Wimmer, Rose, Bentaleb, Dembélé (Eriksen 45′), Son Heung-Min (Chadli 67′), Alli (Mason 80′) Onomah, Kane

Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Kelly, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Zaha, Cabaye (Jedinak 81′), Ledley, Mutch, Adebayor (Bolasie 85′), Wickham

No league wins in nine, sliding down the table. Despite the enormous away following of five and a half thousand, we didn’t head into this FA Cup fifth round tie with much optimism. That was until just before half time when Martin Kelly smashed the ball past Michele Vorm in the Spurs goal. The away end erupted as the unlikely goalscorer looked lost at how to celebrate and I managed to send my friend’s glasses flying three rows in front of us – he’s worn contacts at Palace games ever since.

During the first half, Spurs fans amused themselves by giving Emmanuel Adebayor what they thought was heated abuse. At half time, some muppet at Tottenham had decided that it would be amusing to present and interview the chief muppet, Alan Mullery, on the pitch. Palace fans showed our North London friends how to really abuse a rival as he was booed, chanted and threatened off the pitch with his interview cut short. Arguably, letting the Brighton legend know what we thought of him – and them – was more joyous than the win itself!

In the second half, we held on for the win and Yannick Bolasie returned from injury to give us hope that we’d soon turn our dreadful league form around. We didn’t – but we did march on to Wembley, twice! For me, it was my first and to date, only, FA Cup Quarter Final that I’ve seen Palace reach. In the long, wet queue at Seven Sisters Station after the game, we heard the news that we’d drawn Reading away in the most favourable tie of the last eight. The win at Spurs was a genuine high in a real Palace rollercoaster of a season. Not even splitting up with my then girlfriend that evening could put a taint on the day!

Lowest Moment

Tottenham…2
Palace…0
11th January 2014, Premier League

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker (Naughton 48′), Rose, Bentaleb, Dawson, Chiriches, Lennon, Dembélé, Soldado (Defoe 58), Adebayor, Eriksen (Chadli 76′)

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Parr, Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Puncheon (Guédioura 82), Jedinak, Chamakh, Jerome (Gayle 69′), Bolasie (Williams 69)

There’s been so many games against Spurs where we’ve played well but not got the result that we could have. Hugo Lloris must have formed some sort of vendetta towards Palace as a child as he seems to pull off world class performance after world class performance against us. However, none of the defeats have been completely crushing as they’re usually expected and never heavy. The last five games between us have finished 1-0!

So I’m going to go for a moment rather than a match. Back in 2013/14, Palace had started to turn their season around and compete in our first season back in the Premier League. Early in our tie at Spurs, Marouane Chamakh was hauled down in the box and we had an early chance to take an unlikely lead. Sat in the Spurs end with my brother, my Dad jumped up and screeched with excitement. Unfortunately, Jason Puncheon, still yet to score his first Palace goal, took the penalty and hit it so far high and wide that it was mistaken for a NASA space launch. After that, our good start and the atmosphere in the away end was crushed as we whimpered to a 2-0 defeat.

My Personal Record of Live Matches Against Tottenham

Played 12 Won 2 Drawn 1 Lost 9 Scored 7 Conceded 15 Home 6 Away 6

  • Palace…1 Tottenham…3 (Premier League, 1998) – Shipperley
  • Tottenham…1 Palace…1 (Premier League, 2004) – Johnson
  • Palace…3 Tottenham…0 (Premier League, 2005) – Granville, Leigertwood, Johnson
  • Palace…0 Tottenham…1 (Premier League, 2013)
  • Tottenham…2 Palace…0 (Premier League, 2014)
  • Tottenham…1 Palace…0 (Premier League, 2015)
  • Palace…1 Tottenham…3 (Premier League, 2016) – own goal
  • Palace…1 Tottenham…0 (FA Cup R5, 2016) – Kelly
  • Tottenham…1 Palace…0 (Premier League, 2016)
  • Palace…0 Tottenham…1 (Premier League, 2017)
  • Tottenham…1 Palace…0 (Premier League, 2017)
  • Palace…0 Tottenham…1 (Premier League, 2018)

 

 

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James Howland

James Howland

James is the author of The Palace Addition, a Palace fan's story about following the team around the country throughout the 2009/10 season.

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