The story of the season - Palace (h)
2010/11 season v Palace in the league at Fratton, Friday 18th - Wednesday 23rd February 2011.
The days between Barnsley and Palace were eventful enough - babysitting duties for Imy and Mason, two of my cousin Louise's kids, kept be busy on the Saturday night, a restful Sunday was followed by a work filled Monday, that included some 'family drama'...
Once again, when Tuesday did arrive, the day of the game saw me quietly optimistic about our chances of building on our impressive run of late and I felt we could get another in, what could be billed as, a 'relegation showdown' with Palace.
The evening saw Darren play driver for me, collecting me a little after 6pm. We would then meet Chix, who was running late hence he could not collect me, at Rob's even though he was not going and then all make our way together to Fratton, of course having a beer first. With Rob not making it Sneakay used his ticket to save it going to waste. There was not really too much talk about football, considering we were going to watch a football match afterall, but what there was proved reasonable enough and all that was necessary with a range of topics covered to compensate for the lack of football talk.
Within minutes of kick-off it was clear, to me anyway, that this would be a much better game than the dross we saw against Barnsley on the Saturday, that was not to sat that it was any less frustrating really, as the longer this game went on the more I feared that our inability to break down Palace would see them break away and sneak a win.
Fortunately that was not the case with Dave Nugent's horribly mishit effort lopping up and over the Palace keeper to hand us a 1-0 win.
We dominated the game from the opening minutes really and that made all the difference - if you stamp your authority on a game early on that 'usually' sets the tone, and we did that.
A 'settled defence' is what we have needed, and we have now gone 3 games running playing with the same back 4, which has made a huge difference, especially Rocha John Rocha, he seems to install confidence in those around them, he certainly does me!
It also pleased me that Steve Cotterill refrained from bringing on Aaron Mokoena with 15-20 minutes, or so, to play as I reckon we would have gone so defensive, and invited so much pressure on us, we would have cracked.
It could, and maybe should, have been more but we got the win that we nevertheless deserved, a third straight one and also a third straight cleansheet to boot, so that would ding dang do for me!
Wednesday would see the end to my latest stay in Cosham and, as much as I enjoy my visits, Friday-Wednesday was long enough really. Financially, logically and the ability to see family wise it makes sense to stay in Cosham between a weekend and midweek game although it can become a long time as working from a netbook is far from ideal, due to the tiny screen, nor is it easy to actually work as I would like. I also, if truth be known, miss Trina when I am away for so long.
Setting out at 10:39 from Cosham I returned home at 15:18, via Westbury and Newton Abbot, where I actually ended up meeting my Mum and Dad who were travelling back from a morning in Dawlish, so we ended up on the same train back from Newton.
The weekend will see me miss the Ipswich game, and keeping in touch will be tough, as it is my brother's wedding, although I am sure that I will somehow and I am 'cautiously optimistic' about our chances in this one too. Give me a point and I will bite your arm off, although we are capable of beating The Tractor Boys...
PLAY UP POMPEY!