This season, I am taking a walk down memory lane back through my 24 years and over 600 games of watching Palace.
For each home game, I am reflecting on the highs and lows that I have seen against our opposition. Some clubs, I have a rich history of great Palace moments, and for others, there has been limited encounters but I will try to capture the emotion, context and excitement of the Palace life.
I hate Cardiff. I hate that I’ve seen us play away from home seven times and not seen us win there. I hate their whinging about Claude Davis. I hate the false racism allegations against Shaun Derry. I hate that they beat us in the League Cup Semi-Final. I hate spy-gate. I hate their treatment of Wilfried Zaha. I hate Vincent Tan and his meddling and moaning and I hate Neil Warnock. Frankly, I hate their self-proclaimed “Sheep-Shagging” fans enjoying all those victories and without sounding too racist, I wish they’d never been allowed in the English leagues in the first place. They should be shoved back into the Welsh leagues and made to play away at Barry Town on a Tuesday night.
“2-0, to the sheep-shaggers!” has echoed around my head in the cold and wet South Wales city too many times. Frankly, my happiest memory of Cardiff is beating West Ham there in 2004.
Palace…3 (Murray (3))
22nd September 2012, Championship
Since I have to pick a game against Cardiff, rather than one that was simply played there, three came to mind. A 2-1 win in 2003, the first time I saw us play them, which turned out to be Steve Kember’s last win in charge. The second game that jumped out was our comfortable 2-0 Premier League win last time we played them at Selhurst. Unfortunately, I was saving money at the time of the return fixture and missed our 3-0 win that all but kept us up and sent them down.
However, the third one that I thought of was the one that I think I look back most favourably on. Palace started the 2012/13 season with three straight defeats and a heap of despair. Famously, this sparked a car park debate in Bristol, Glenn Murray returned from injury and the signings of Bolasie, Moritz, Ramage and Delaney were made to change things around. Wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton, as well as a draw against Forest followed and we began to think that Dougie Freedman could deliver something special.
Against Cardiff, despite an impressive first half performance, Palace found themselves 2-0 down. Just before half time, the ball went into the away end as Palace pushed for a goal. The Welsh fans kept the ball and screamed “ole” as they played volleyball until the game restarted with a different ball. At which point, they threw the original back onto the pitch.
Palace hadn’t won a home game from 2-0 down for decades and we had that familiar sinking feeling – maybe we’d been premature in our optimism for this Palace bunch. However, the second half saw something special. A Glenn Murray hat-trick turned the game on it’s head and when the ball went into the Holmesdale with minutes remaining. You can guess what happened… Ole!
It was an early season insight into the determination, skill and flair that our promotion side had.
1-1 on aggregate: 3-1 to Cardiff on Penalties
24th January 2012, League Cup Semi-Final Leg 2
I had been down to the Cardiff for the league game earlier in the season and they’d steam-rolled past us. Nervously, I’d sat through the first leg of the semi-final at Selhurst and, despite the win, they’d looked the stronger side again. So as I rushed down the M4 to Wales after work, I went more in hope than expectation. And so it proved. Cardiff scored after seven minutes to level the tie and battered us throughout – our biggest chance came when we should have had a penalty in the first half but based on our later efforts, we’d have probably missed it anyway. We rarely ventured into the Cardiff half and sat deeper and deeper as the tie slowly tortured on.
Despite holding on for 113 more minutes, and Cardiff hitting the bar twice in the last five of those, I never really believed we could beat our fellow-Championship opponents to reach our second-ever major Cup Final. That was until we reached penalties and Cardiff’s Kenny Miller blazed their first spot-kick high over the bar. The atmosphere in the away end had been electric throughout extra time as we tried to drag the team over the line to our first appearance at the new Wembley and now, we had something to hold onto. Maybe, just maybe, we could pull off an unlikely victory in the cruellest manor.
Devastatingly, but probably fairly, Jermaine Easter and Sean Scannell missed our first two penalties and we went on to lose 3-1, with only Jedinak scoring. Perhaps, with hindsight, taking off our regular penalty takers Murray, Ambrose and Chris Martin was a mistake, although maybe we wouldn’t have even held out that far if we hadn’t. It was a long and lonely journey back down the M4 that night as I reflected on what might have been, and that we’d not really given it a go.
My Personal Record of Live Matches Against Cardiff City
- Played 17
- Won 6
- Drawn 3
- Lost 8
- Scored 16
- Conceded 16
- Home 10
- Away 7
Palace…2 Cardiff…1 (Division 1, 2003) – Routledge, Shipperley
Cardiff…1 Palace…0 (Championship, 2005)
Palace…1 Cardiff…0 (Championship, 2006) – Riihilahti
Palace…1 Cardiff…2 (Championship, 2006) – Green
Cardiff…0 Palace…0 (Championship, 2007)
Palace…0 Cardiff…0 (Championship, 2008)
Cardiff…2 Palace…1 (Championship, 2008) – Scannell
Cardiff…1 Palace…1 (Championship, 2009) – Own Goal (Hudson)
Palace…1 Cardiff…2 (Championship, 2010) – Hill
Palace…1 Cardiff…0 (Championship, 2011) – Dikgacoi
Cardiff…2 Palace…0 (Championship, 2011)
Palace…1 Cardiff…0 (League Cup Semi-Final, Leg 1, 2012) – Gardner
Cardiff…1 Palace…0 (Cardiff win 3-1 on penalties: League Cup Semi-Final, Leg 2, 2012)
Palace…1 Cardiff…2 (Championship, 2012) – Zaha
Palace…3 Cardiff…2 (Championship, 2012) – Murray (3)
Cardiff…2 Palace…1 (Championship, 2012) – Jedinak
Palace…2 Cardiff…0 (Premier League, 2013) – Jerome, Chamakh