Back in the Day: April 12th - Palace Fans Boycott FA Cup Semi Final

Back in the Day

Saturday 12th April 1986

Grimsby Town 3-0 Crystal Palace

League Division Two – Att: 4,224

Manager: Steve Coppell

Wednesday 12th April 1995

Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester United

FA Cup Semi Final Replay – Att: 17,987

Manager: Alan Smith

Crystal Palace fans boycotted the FA Cup Semi Final Replay due to the events that led to the death of Paul Nixon just three days earlier. Under 18,000 people turned up to Villa Park to witness United’s progression to the final:

"We sincerely believe the match should not be played so soon after the dreadful events of last Sunday," Colin Noades said, "and we are anxious to avoid any further serious incidents.

"This was the third serious instance of appalling behaviour at games involving the two clubs. Two years ago at Selhurst Park, a Crystal Palace supporter received multiple stab wounds minute's a match against Manchester United.

"Earlier this year we saw the Eric Cantona incident, then last Sunday. It is long overdue for Manchester United to make a statement concerning their supporters' activities, and to take the necessary action."

A minutes silence was held before kick-off in memory of Paul Nixon (pictured above).

Nigel Martyn had broken his finger in the first match and was missing from the game that, quite frankly, the Palace players could not get themselves up for. Steve Bruce (29) opened the scoring, taking advantage of his regular marker Iain Dowie being off the field to replace a contact lens, and Gary Pallister (40) gave United a 2-0 lead at half time.

Seven minutes into the second half Roy Keane received his first red card in English football – for stamping on Gareth Southgate. Unfortunately, Darren Patterson also received his marching orders for his involvement in the ensuing melee.

Saturday 12th April 1997

Sheffield United 3-0 Crystal Palace

League Division One – Att: 20,051

Manager: Steve Coppell

Crystal Palace slipped to tenth in the league and four points off a Play-Off place after a crushing defeat at Play-Off chasing rivals, Sheffield United.

The game was over as early as the second minute when the Blades were awarded a dubious penalty after a long throw into the box. Mitch Ward (2) slotted home the spot kick but not after Andy Roberts and Jan Arge Fjortoft had a heated argument.

Fjortoft (19) made it two shortly after and David White (89) wrapped up the game late on when Roberts gifted the ball to his first half nemesis in the penalty area. Fortunately for Palace, revenge would be achieved in May at Wembley.

Monday 12th April 2004

Crystal Palace 1-0 West Ham United

League Division One – Att: 23,977

Manager: Iain Dowie

Palace sat in 10th place and four points behind Alan Pardew’s West Ham when the teams met on this Bank Holiday Monday afternoon. A win was a must, and that is exactly what Iain Dowie’s men got.

The win was greatly helped by West Ham striker David Connolly in the first half. Having already been booked, the Hammers’ number eight flew in late on Danny Butterfield to earn a second yellow with nine minutes of the first half still remaining.

Christian Dailly and Marlon Harewood both went close before the Eagles adjusted to playing against ten men, but after there was only one team likely to find a winner. It did not come until the 66th minute when Dougie Freedman converted an Andy Johnson flick-on from close range.

Pavel Srnicek twice denied Johnson late on and Julian Gray had a goal ruled out for offside, but the Freedman strike was enough, and Play-Off hopes were alive and well in South London.

Saturday 12th April 2014

Crystal Palace 1-0 Aston Villa

Premier League – Att: 25,564

Manager: Tony Pulis

With news spreading around the stadium that Fulham and Cardiff, both in the bottom two, were winning, it looked like Palace would be getting dragged back towards the relegation zone as they struggled to break Aston Villa down.

However, as the game went into the last fifteen minutes, Jason Puncheon swivelled in the penalty area and curled the ball in via the post for his third goal in two matches. The goal meant that Palace stayed seven points clear of relegation and just three points off the coveted forty point mark.

Julian Speroni reached the landmark of 100 clean sheets for the Club in this match. 

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