The shambles outside
What a shambles. We all know Palace are not in the best place so far this season and as a result tensions are always going to be a little higher than normal. That all said, alleged behaviour with some fans reportedly storming the gates at the Amex without tickets is an embarrassment to the club and most importantly the fans, especially those civil ones with tickets who missed out as a result.
It’s sad that we even have to discuss something like this here and it's important to acknowledge it is only a tiny minority. And it should be pointed out some of the actions of Sussex Police and Brighton stewards did not help; with a lack of information being passed to fans, and some officers treating fans like hooligans despite the civility of most there.
The club has condemned the behaviour in the following statement:
"This kind of antisocial and criminal behaviour is completely unacceptable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
"There are very clear images of the incident and we will work with the police to identify the supporters involved, who will face stadium bans as well as potential criminal proceedings.
"We would like to apologise to all the innocent supporters who arrived at the stadium with tickets but were denied entry and to the two stewards who were injured at the ground. We wish them a full and speedy recovery."
Palace fans who couldn’t get in due to the trouble have been told they can contact the club for a full refund, while the Football Supporters Federation have begun investigating what happened.
There have already been six arrests including a 15-year old. It's just massively embarrassing for the club, and not the first time smoke bombs have been brought into games and let off despite the club asking fans not to. And the bottom line is our own fans miss out and now the club will probaby be in very hot water. That's the saddest thing.
The Actual Match
Sadly, the above issues overshadowed what should’ve actually been a positive note for Palace. That is the 0-0 result, not only could the away point may prove to be incredibly valuable as the season progresses, but we finally got a clean sheet. Sure, a win would’ve been better, but considering the way the seasons been going we’ll gladly take a clean sheet away from home. If nothing else it has to be a moral boost for the defence.
And looking at the other teams around at the bottom of the table, picking up draws here and there could really make a difference this season. Aside from Everton, we’ve up until now looked by far the worst defensively in the league.
Maybe we’re being optimistic, but it’s certainly a start and we weren’t expecting this mess to be turned around overnight and our 1st clean sheet is certainly not the worst place to start.
The odds may still have Palace tipped for relegation, Ladbrokes still have us at 6/5, which weirdy isn't the shortest odds for going down despite seill being bottom. (click here for a free bet at Ladbrokes).
It’s not quite time to be celebrating just yet, but it looks like those odds are maybe a little bit less fair if Hodgson can continue to keep the back organised.