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Crystal Palace 0 Watford 0 (09/08/2008) 09/08/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five Thunks from Selhurst Park

1- We discussed before the game the possibility that we’d lowered our expectations to such a point that we couldn’t fail to be impressed by every tackle, would revel in every successfully won corner kick. So it proved… this was vibrant, positive, imaginative stuff. Kinda punchless, but so much much better than feared.

2- I’d dreaded the attitude of the travelling support more than anything. Admittedly they too will have sterner tests – of their patience, let alone intelligence. But the ‘orns were vocal and positive. Long may that continue.

3- Jon Harley. Yee-ha. Gutsy and energetic. More please.

4- Lloyd Doyley… edge of the area, ten minutes from the end. A shot… eight yards or a deflection away from a moment to grace this or any season. Five minutes later, he’s actually running through Palace’s midfield from the centre circle. Then sees the centreback and panics, naturally, but you kinda hope that whatever shape New Watford takes there’s space in it for Lloydy.

5- Palace. Flaccid. And in some cases quite obviously unfit. One of our number was moved to speculate whether John Bostock had not, in fact, moved to Spurs over the summer, but had instead been eaten by Paul Ifill who looks, umm, twice the player he was, if you get my drift.


1. Mark - 09/08/2008

In the end I was disappointed we didn’t win as we would have deserved too.

Very positive performances and agree if we keep key players and perform as today we will be ok.

2. Back from Hammerau - 10/08/2008

A first clean sheet since March 15th and our first 20-man brawl since the last one.

3. DM - 11/08/2008

Flaccid strikers or not, a clean sheet is a positive after a wretched pre-season defensively. Uncertaintly re:Shittu maybe had an effect ?

4. JonM - 11/08/2008

If this opening day performance is the start of something new, then it could be that our lower expectations and fears will be unfounded but that is surely wholly dependant on finding someone who will score goals fairly regularly. Fingers crossed we get the man AB says we are after.

Agree entirely re Harley & what about the inspired Tommy Smith? If he could find his shooting boots it could be fun…..

Palace – well, we have found one team who are no better than us already!

5. JonM - 11/08/2008

And where did those security guards suddenly appear from???

6. Esp - 11/08/2008

I couldn’t help feeling during the excellent first half that our principal problem with most of our matches this year were due to the unworkable combination of Demerit and Shittu at the back – now that this partnership will never be joined again I think we can have hope that our defence is on the mend

Also….we CAN pass, OK not all were 100% completed or accurate but if this season sees an end to our “welly it when you get it…anywhere” tactic this Hornet fan will be over the moon, Brian.

I thought Harley was a defender when we bought him but his midfield starting position was a masterstroke and he does have an engine as Matt alludes to; Tommy Smith albeit at 80% fitness levels played his usual mature, imposing and inspiring game and the City ‘Orns (who have yet to nominate their 2008/9 player to sponsor) would do a lot worse than to choose for the 5th year running Lloyd Doyley, a favourite player who for a few nerve-wracking weeks in July I thought we were destined to lose during our firesale. He seems to have wresteled the right back shirt from Mariappa again – one of the few genuine competitive positional tustles that we have in the side

Like Mark I was disappointed we didn’t win in the end -I am not going to get carried away as we weren’t too bad on our travels last season were we? – but the true test comes on Saturday

Finally it would be nice to see us taking the Carling Cup seriously this season and it would also be good to see Theo Robinson and Scott Loach be given a start and I DON’T see those two statements as contradictory!

7. markymark - 12/08/2008

How about getting Damien Francis off the transfer list if he can prove his fitness levels.He is a midfielder capable of scoring 10 goals unlike all the others and should benefit from either 4-5-1 or 4-3-3.

8. Harefield Hornet - 12/08/2008

We all seem suddenly to have emerged from a state of hysteria into one of calm reflective realisation that maybe this season might not be so terrifying after all. Obviously its ridiculously early days yet to start talking about a total transformation, but we do need to remind ourselves that this is only the championship after all, not the savage pool of talent that is the premier league, and I for one will be more than pleased to see something resembling the first team turn out against Bristol Rovers tonight.

Lets get behind the boys!

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