Back in the Day: October 13th - Prominent Palace Debuts and a Riihilahti Wonder-Goal
Saturday 13th October 1923
Nelson 4-2 Crystal Palace
League Division Two – Att: 10,000
Manager: Edmund Goodman
Hands up who even knew that a team called Nelson existed? And if you did know, hands up who knew that they actually played in the Football League? Well, they did, and we are winless against them in our history.
Ok so this was only the second (the teams drew 1-1 the week before) and last time that we would ever play them as they were relegated this season never to return, but we should naturally fear this bogie team should they ever make the 3rd Round of the FA Cup.
George Whitworth and Billy Morgan scored the Palace goals on the day, but a Dick Crawshaw hat-trick and a Sid Hoad strike were enough for the home team to take the points.
Saturday 13th October 1956
Crystal Palace 0-0 Swindon Town
League Division Three South – Att: 13,459
Manager: Cyril Spiers
A seemingly innocuous game to pick for this feature, however, it was significant for a host of reason. Firstly, it was Johnny Byrne’s full debut for the club. The goal machine would not find the back of the net in this one, but it would not be long before the goals would flow.
Secondly, goalkeeper Vic Rouse was also making his debut in the Palace net. He would go on to play over 238 times for Palace across six years. He got off to the perfect start with a clean sheet in this one.
Finally, it was the two-year managerial anniversary of Cyril Spiers. Somehow he managed to keep his job for four years despite churning out disappointing league placing’s every year he was in charge.
Saturday 13th October 1973
Oxford United 1-1 Crystal Palace
League Division Two – Att: 10,425
Manager: Malcolm Allison
Peter Taylor made his debut for Crystal Palace as Malcolm Allison’s team made it 11 games without a win at the start of the 1973/74 season.
Taylor would go on to represent England as a Division Three player and would later manage Crystal Palace.
In this one, Don Rogers scored for Palace, but it would only be good enough for a point as Hugh Curran also scored for the hosts.
Saturday 13th October 2001
Crystal Palace 4-0 Wimbledon
League Division One – Att: 20,009
Manager: Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce’s Palace made it five straight league wins as tenants Wimbledon were dismissed at Selhurst Park. Clinton Morrison (33) and Jovan Kirovski (42) made it 2-0, and a Wayne Brown own goal (85) made it 4-0 late on, but this game is remembered for what happened in the 79th minute.
Kirovski squared the ball to Aki Riihilahti some 35 yards from goal. The Finnish international then did this…
Palace links: There were a fair few players with Palace links playing for Wimbledon in this one. Former Palace captain Andy Roberts, former (and future) striker Neil Shipperley, future winger Jobi McAnuff and future midfielder Michael Hughes.
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