Back in the Day: May 10th - Crystal Palace 3-1 Wolves 1997

Back in the Day

Saturday 10th May 1997

Crystal Palace 3-1 Wolves

League Division One Play-Off Semi-Final 1st Leg – Att: 21,053

Manager: Steve Coppell

Wolves finished third and were favourites for promotion via the Play-Offs when they visited Palace, who finished sixth. A cagey affair followed with only Neil Shipperley’s opener for the hosts on 68 minutes the only real action of note. In the 89th minute, the game burst into life.

Dougie Freedman had entered the fray as a late substitute and was visibly fired up. A stupid red card on the final day of the regular season meant that he would miss the Final should Palace make it to the Wembley showpiece. A long ball was knocked up to Shipperley and Freedman was close by for the knockdown. When it came, he let the ball bounce and from twenty-five yards out, in line with the side edge of the penalty area, he let fly with an unstoppable left-footed volley into the top corner of Mike Stowell’s goal.

Glad All Over had barely finished playing and Wolves had scored a vital away goal. A long ball is not dealt with by Andy Linighan, and Jamie Smith was on hand to fire past Carlo Nash. Smith then run the length of the field, this is when the away fans were housed in the corner of the Arthur Wait at the Holmesdale Road End, to celebrate his first ever goal for the Club.

Incredibly, the scoring was not done. There was a little time between Smith’s goal and Freedman’s second, but there was only a matter of seconds in it. Palace got a free kick just inside their own half and flooded almost everyone forward, and Linighan immediately redeemed his error. His cushioned header found Freedman and his lob over the keeper was quite brilliant. Before the ball had even left Freedman’s foot, the commentator had claimed: “there’s a flag up here, it’s not going to count.” Selhurst Park went wild; the commentator had failed to see the Wolves defender on the far side playing everyone on, and the goal stood. Meanwhile, at the back-post, Gareth Davies is squaring up to Smith and literally screaming in his face in celebration – months later they would be teammates as Smith joined Palace. In 2017, Shipperley told the Holmesdale Radio Preview Podcast that the incident was "always bought up" when Smith joined the Club.

The full-time whistle sounded immediately after the restart and Palace were taking a vital two-goal lead to Molineux.

Palace Links: Past stars Geoff Thomas and Simon Osborn and future Eagle Jamie Smith all played for Wolves, as did future first team coach, Keith Curle (spit).

Sunday 10th May 1998

Crystal Palace 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday

Premier League – Att: 16,878

Manager: Ron Noades (Caretaker)

The final game of the 1997/98 season was met with relief from the Palace fans – which resulted in a party atmosphere. Less than 17,000 people turned up to watch as Palace bowed out with a victory, which meant a double over the Owls in the season.

The game looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw but, with the Palace fans going the Conga in the aisles of the Holmesdale, a youngster from the academy climbed off the bench to replace Neil Shipperley and scored his first of what would be over 100 goals for the Club.

A long ball over the top caused confusion between keeper and defender and as they collided, the ball dropped kindly for Attilio Lombardo. The Italian cut the ball back and there was Clinton Morrison, four days before his 19th birthday, to tap home the only goal of the game on his Premier League debut.

Friday 10th May 2013

Crystal Palace 0-0 Brighton

Championship Play-Off Semi Final 1st Leg – Att: 23,294

Manager: Ian Holloway

Chances were at a premium in the first leg of this famous Play-Off Semi-Final against our fiercest rivals. Late on, Palace created the odd half chance and looked the likelier to score, resulting in the away fans roaring in triumph when the final whistle sounded with the game still goalless – they thought that the tie was won.

The game, sadly, is remembered for it being the end of Glenn Murray’s incredible season. The striker turned in the penalty area and his knee buckled underneath him and that was that for the best part of a year for the man that had scored 31 goals that season. Brighton fans could be heard singing "let him die" - their tune would change in later years.

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