Monday, 22 September 2008

PG's Trips: Happy Days are Here Again

Crystal Palace 1 (McCarthy 85) - 2 Plymouth Argyle (Gallagher 28, 56)
Saturday 20 September
Selhurst Park

The Match

So our troubles have finally gone, the Greens are back and on the way up. At least away from home. Even so there are still a number of concerning points - like the "Argyle disease" of taking and defending corners - they can't do it. Simple. And this leads to a very tense finish to the games. Something that is so unnecessary.

In a reversal of recent events it was the Palace home crowd who left early and booed their team off the field. What a difference a week makes. Sturrock, aided and abetted strangely with Stapleton from the dugout, didn't make any changes to the winning team from Watford and paid dividend again. Though it does beg the question of what were the point of the making those million-pound signings and not playing them. A bit of a drain in resources. We've already been told that Sturrock has to sell to balance the books - so speculate that they'll be right out the door again in January. What a waste of time. And not to mention the speculation of the primadonna behaviour of the dressing room of these big egos. There's a lot we don't know and it doesn't help when fans speculate.

The Greens were placed under quite heavy pressure by the Eagles and Romain was challenged a fair few times but fortunately Palace were unable to find the net until the 85th minute when McCarthy was unchallenged in a poorly defended corner. At the other end of the pitch Gallagher provided the two winning goals in clean style. So what of the home form this Saturday? The optimistic fans have berated the fair-weathers for their pessimism and unbelief in King Luggy recently, but with Argyle you can never take anything for granted.

The Ground

Likable. The away 'end' is the end of the Arthur Waite stand which flanks one half of the pitch opposite the dugouts. It's a stand of many levels. The turnstiles are straight off the road onto an open concourse from which you are led down into the refreshment concourse and out into the seats. The front third are plastic bucket seats and the top remaining are older wooden seats. Get the wrong seat and you have a limited view - either cause the sun's too bright or the roof's too low or the pillar's too wide. The gents toilets are down some steps again and although large contain cubicles you have to fight your way out of - pick the wrong one and you're stuck until someone shoulders the door in for you! The refreshments have been 'motorway serviced' with a selection of outlets - the Express Cafe selling burgers, hot dogs and soft drinks with a very very small bar, Wimpy doing slightly more expensive burgers, hot dogs and soft drinks with no bar and The Pie Shop doing very expensive pies and pies.

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