Palace 0-4 Brum
Redmond 24, Delaney 32′ (og), Morrison 64, Ferguson 69,
Fri 29th March 2013
Birmingham City made a mockery of Crystal Palace's unbeaten home record on Good Friday. Two goals in each half saw the Blues run out four nil winners leaving eh the Eagles automatic promotion hopes laying in tatters.
Sorry it's late. In fact, I am writing this on the train to Blackpool! It has been quite some time since a result last affected me in such a way. A boozed fuelled couple of days since has stabilised me somewhat and I am now in a position where I can look objectively at the loss as opposed to just crying on my keyboard.
In the words of The Streets, "how did we get smashed that bad?" If one person had a bet on a 4-0 Brum win, anywhere in the world, I would declare them insane. It was so out of the blue and the shocked silence around silence that greeted the third goal effectively rendered the away fans celebrations moot.
Having forced myself to watch the extended highlights to resurrect the memories of the game that I had brutally murdered since, I found myself thinking about timing. Before I go further I am not saying that we deserved anything from the game, we didn't.
"We started the game brightly and got in behind them a couple of times" said Holloway in his post match conference ( a considerably better on than the Brighton debacle) and he was not wrong. However. Teams have to score when they are on top and we did not. Rarely have we been guilty of this at home this season. Away from home is a different story. We often don't score when on top away from home and this has cost us many points this season. If we took the lead undoubtedly the game would have had a different outcome.
The start of the second half was no different. We were looking the more likely and a goal would have given us the bit of belief that we needed. We know that we can turn 0-2 around at home and I have no doubt that we could have done it again.
What I did find strange was the dropping of Ramage. With Moxey coming in for Parr, which is completely justified in my mind, dropping Rambo as well meant two changes to a back four that has done well in the main. Moxey and Gabbidon were not directly to blame for the goals, however, the normal cohesion was not there and I am sure that, in hindsight, Holloway would have started Ramage.
As for Birmingham, it has taken them a wile to get going this season but they are no mugs by any stretch of the imagination. In Ravel and Redmond they possess a threat down both flanks and they have the big target man in Zigic. They are basically most of the way to having the perfect Championship recipe. Think us in our last promotion season, Birmingham are approaching that.
Now, have the wheels come off? Six points off of second and some are even nervously looking over our shoulders. What is clear is that we cannot react the way we have in the last two games when conceding first. Winning points from losing positions has been our niche this season and it is key to our position. If we lose our mojo in this area, we will be playing Championship football next season.
With Forest 'doing a Reading' no one is going to want to play them play offs, especially a team going in with no form. Whatever has gone wrong in the last two weeks Holloway needs to fix quickly. He knows this and I have faith that he can, and will, sort it out. Second is still reachable, but a win is a must today of we want to avoid the 'lottery' of the play offs.
Man of the Match: Mile Jedinak
Far from his best but still the best player in a Red N Blue shirt.
I only remember two like it at Selhurst. The 4-0 loss to Scunthorpe and the 3-0 play off home loss to Watford. A stunned silence at home is something that I could easily go without for the rest of my life.
Onwards. Keeping the faith and pulling into Preston. COYP!