Back in the Day: April 17th - Palace Pick Up Vital Point in 2010
Tuesday 17th April 1979
Crystal Palace 1-0 Charlton Athletic
League Division Two – Att: 28,592
Manager: Terry Venables
Crystal Palace made the most of the first of their two games in hand over league leaders Brighton. Jerry Murphy scored the only goal of the game against local rivals Charlton and moved the Eagles to within a point of the summit. The battle for the three promotion places and the title was going to go down to the wire.
Tuesday 17th April 1984
Cardiff City 0-2 Crystal Palace
League Division Two – Att: 4,901
Manager: Alan Mullery
Wednesday 17th April 1991
Crystal Palace 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur
League Division One – Att: 26,285
Manager: Steve Coppell
Spurs came to Selhurst Park on a high having just beaten Arsenal 3-1 in the FA Cup Semi-final just three days earlier. It would appear that the hangover had not yet dissipated as it took Eric Young (5) just five minutes to open the scoring. Spurs’ keeper, Eric Thorstvedt, challenged ‘Ninja’ and there was only one winner.
With this win, Palace went 7 points clear of fourth-placed Manchester United – European football looked to be coming to Selhurst Park the following season…
Palace Link: This absolutely astounded me, but David Tuttle came on as a substitute for Spurs.
Saturday 17th April 2010
Derby County 1-1 Crystal Palace
Championship – Att: 30,255
Manager: Paul Hart
Crystal Palace picked up another incredibly valuable point away from home. Russell Anderson (6) gave the hosts an early lead, but Paul Hart’s men refused to wilt.
As half-time, Hart replaced Nicky Carle with Stern John and switched to 4-4-2 – Palace took over, and John was exceptional.
But for Stephen Bywater, the Derby stopper, Palace would have comfortably bought back all three points to London. First, he denied Darren Ambrose and then he pulled off an incredible double save to deny Ambrose and John.
Before John (86) eventually scored, he was an inch away from scoring one of the greatest Crystal Palace goals. He brought the ball down on his chest, flicked the ball over the defender, controlled on his chest again, lifted it over yet another defender and then let fly with a seemingly unstoppable volley. Finally, Bywater was beaten, but the ball hit the underside of the crossbar and came down the wrong side of the line.
James Howland remembered the equaliser in this book: The Palace Addiction (which you can buy here):
With five minutes left, John once again used his experience to expertly control the ball in a packed penalty area. He managed to wriggle himself free of his marker and fire the ball across the goal. This time the net rippled and nothing could contain the explosion of delight and love from the away end. Strangers hugged each other. John dived into the crowd, followed by various other Palace players. I went through the entire happy/relieved routine of punching, shouting, kicking, screaming, stamping, kissing and hugging anyone and anything.
Palace moved two points clear of Sheffield Wednesday, who were yet to play. It looked increasingly likely that it would all go down to the last game of the season – Sheffield Wednesday vs Crystal Palace.
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