Crystal Palace v Leeds United 25th April 2022 at Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace A 25th April 2022

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With the Chelsea game postponed, that worked in our favour as a family as we headed to Kent for my husband to complete one of his bucket lists wishes of flying in a spitfire. Heading to the game today meant it felt a long time since we had played and there were plenty of nervous fans about. Luckily for me taking photos at games does help to calm the nerves and also, I’ve not watched anyone else, just concentrated on Leeds. I didn’t relish the trip to the ground though as to me it is one of the worst grounds to get to as a fan. My worst memory was getting to the play off final against Charlton at half time by which time I’d a massive migraine and didn’t enjoy the game. That said, the reason we were delayed was because of an accident on the M1 where three Leeds fans were sadly killed on their way to the game. We had waited for ages at Leicester Forest services to meet my other coach from Selby, but it never arrived. As it turned out, the driver of that coach went down the A1 and in the days before mobile phones I’d no way of knowing. It was nearly a déjà vu moment on the way to catch the coach in Leeds this morning, as the last mile before junction 26 of the M62 saw me stuck in traffic due to access to the roundabout being continuously blocked. Although I’d rung ahead and said to not leave without me, my stress levels had started to rise the longer it took me to get to the front of the queue. Eventually after 35 minutes I got through onto the motorway and arrived at the coach right on departure time at 10am thank goodness. After a good three hour stop, we arrived at the ground an hour before kick-off.

It was good to catch up with fans before the game including Austin from South Africa attending his first ever Leeds game. Also thank you to Kev and his mate for the support in buying our CD

of Leeds chants and songs from the terraces. For anyone who doesn’t know, a group of 

Leeds fans have recorded over 200 songs and chants from the terraces starting from the Scratching Shed days until 2017. All profits after costs which have all been repaid, will go to the Leeds United Academy/Foundation and this is a piece of historic football memorabilia through supporting Leeds United.

Team: Meslier, Cooper, Ayling, Dallas, James, Raphinha, Rodrigo, Klich, Harrison, Phillips and Llorente.

Subs:  Koch for Klich (45), Greenwood for James (59), Gelhardt for Rodrigo (74).

Subs not used: Klaesson, Struijk, Firpo, Cresswell, Bate, Kenneth.

Leeds drew the game 0-0.

Attendance: 25,357 with 3,000 Leeds fans.

Referee: Darren England.

Booked: James, Llorente.

After eventually finding out where the ladies’ toilets were and finding out there were only three once again, by the time I got in the stand the teams were already on the pitch. Another club where it seems women don’t go to football games! That said going back in time when we played Wimbledon here in an FA Cup replay, we thought the toilets were the height of luxury as they had pink tiles on the walls as well as mirrors. Anyone who used to go to games back in the day will know how bad the toilet facilities were for fans in those days. The view for watching the game was awful too and for the first half it was impossible to see the line nearest us or see the corner to the left either, it felt quite surreal watching the first half which continued at a fast pace. Palace came close to scoring in the opening minutes of the game but on the whole, the majority of play was in the middle of the park. Palace won a few free kicks but in reality, both keepers didn’t have too much to do as we went in at half time on even terms.

The second half saw Leeds attack the end to the right of the Leeds fans who had been in great voice so far without the need of a drum, starting the second half where they’d left off. Palace fans did contribute to the atmosphere more in the second half though as a couple of times, there were anxious silences before the Leeds fans picked up the noise once again finishing the game in good voice.

Joffy had a shot on target, but we didn’t really put their keeper under pressure, and it was Meslier who was the busier of the two keepers. As Gary said to me, this game had a 0-0 draw all over it, I felt that could be the case. When Mike asked me what I thought of the game, my thoughts were that it was fast paced but not a lot of pressure in front of goal. A draw would be a good result as we’ve historically never done well at this ground. I’ll admit, I did get slightly nervous towards the end of the game as if anyone was going to sneak a win, Palace looked the more likely to score but thankfully Meslier was alert and made the necessary saves. Once Rodrigo was taken off, it seemed to take the sting out of our game to be honest. The team did battle though by getting stuck in, and, in the end, we got another welcome point. I’d had a shock after the Watford game as when I looked at the table, I thought we’d have gone up a few places with the points we’d just won only to find us still in the same place. As the end of the season gets closer, we have a big game on Saturday with the teatime clash against Man City. Despite where they are in the league, we have to believe we can win them especially with the game being at Elland Road. Our fans will need to be the twelfth man and on tonight’s showing after plenty of time in the pubs, we should be on top form. After the game I’ll be heading to the Irish Centre for the last performance of the Centenary Whites (all Leeds fans) which will see another great evening of singing Leeds songs put to popular music by Paul Wilson, in the company of other Leeds fans. Because of this, anyone who reads my blogs, please note I will not be posting it until Sunday lunchtime. What takes the most time is the uploading of my photos so apologies in advance. See you then, LUFC – Marching on Together!