With a very important trip to Crystal Palace at the weekend, I thought I’d take a look back at some rather nice victories we’ve had there.
It would’ve been very difficult to get a Focus Five of wins at some other venues and nigh on impossible at our most recent ports of call, Everton and Burnley. However, Selhurst Park has been relatively kind to us over the years and one doesn’t have to go back into ancient history to find tales of Fulham success.
In fact, we have won there six times and five of these games are that recent that this old fossil has had the privilege of actually being at some of them. The exception being our 2-1 victory in 1925. I just missed out on that one…
CRYSTAL PALACE 0-2 FULHAM
DIVISION TWO (16/04/74)
Fulham were bumbling along in mid table while, surprisingly, Palace were struggling having only been relegated the season before. Palace had won 3-1 at the Cottage on Good Friday; a game only made significant for us by Bobby Moore notching his one and only goal for the club. We didn’t hold out much hope for the return the following Tuesday. We’d also been stuffed 3-0 at Portsmouth on the Saturday in between and Palace’s need was obviously far greater than ours. We should have realised that was the cue for the team to turn in a disciplined and professional performance. The game was goalless at the break before Viv Busby and Les Barrett notched after the interval to send Palace to a very costly defeat. They were relegated again by just a single point a few weeks later.
CRYSTAL PALACE 2-3 FULHAM
DIVISION TWO (01/10/77)
Fulham had made a pretty poor start to the season so travelled to SE25 as second favourites and in need of a decent result to pull themselves away from the bottom. Tony Gale was just starting to establish himself in the side and scored one of the goals from a midfield position. Teddy Maybank was to score the other two as Fulham took the points in an entertaining encounter. George Best was making one of his final appearances for the club and added injury to insult for the home fans by badly breaking Ian Evans leg in an unfortunate incident. Having watched George it was very difficult to believe he would have deliberately injured an opponent although a lot of the home crowd were particularly aggrieved at the time.
CRYSTAL PALACE 0-1 FULHAM
DIVISION TWO (28/10/78)
This was famously the game we won twice. We once more travelled to Selhurst as underdogs, although this time we were doing okay ourselves. It was just that Palace were flying, with a talented young side that were about to be dubbed the team of the 80’s. Fulham played very well and hung on pretty comfortably to the lead Brian Greenaway had given us. This particular individual was elated as the ref blew the final whistle, and trotted off to Thornton Heath Station to get the train home. It was while waiting on the platform that people with radios spread the rumour that the official had got the time confused and had blown too early and was bringing the teams back on to finish the final few minutes in front of by then a fairly deserted stadium. It wasn’t until I got home that I found out that the rumours were true and we’d indeed hung on to win- again!
CRYSTAL PALACE 0-2 FULHAM
DIVISION ONE (17/03/01)
This time we visited as hot favourites as Jean Tigana modelled a side that took the division by storm. We had already won at Selhurst that season, thrashing tenants Wimbledon, and although Palace were resolute they had no answer to the multiple attacking threats we possessed. On the day it was Luis Boa Morte who did the honours with a brace, but this was a campaign where we seemed able to score at will. Just a few weeks later we clinched promotion and so returned to the top flight after 33 long years .
CRYSTAL PALACE 1-4 FULHAM
PREMIER LEAGUE (21/10/13)
This was the game made famous by Pajtim Kasami’s wonder goal. The team had been struggling under Martin Jol and trailed early when Kasami’s sumptuous control and volley put us level out of absolutely nowhere. It was such a stupendous strike that Steve Sidwell’s belter on half time passed with barely a mention. Berbatov and Senderos scored after half time to clinch a comfortable victory that steered us away from the danger zone and put Palace in further peril. It was a false dawn though as our season dissolved into one catastrophe after the other. By the time Palace visited us on the last day of the season it was they who had the last laugh, as they had pulled clear of trouble while we ended our 13 year stay at the top in ignominy.