3.30pm Sunday 4th May

Last updated : 28 April 2003 By Bob Gear
Brighton 4 Watford 0
Palace 1 Stoke 0

I think most of us would have gladly accepted that going into the final game of the season we still had a chance of staying up. After moving out the bottom 3 a few weeks ago, people hopes shot up and it feels like we should be in a stronger position going into the Grimsby game.

I just wish it was 1.30pm Sunday 4th now, the tension is already getting to me! Reading and Pardew annoy me anyway, but they will want to go into the play offs as a form team so that must work to our advantage. If they don't beat Watford midweek then they will need at least a result from the Stoke game to get home advantage in the play offs!

Saturday, what a strange day. Desperately wanting Palace to win, and once we had gone 2-0 not having the game in-front of you deciding the clubs fate was hard to take. Watford rolled over and gave us 3 points on Saturday, something I thought Palace might do.

The fact they sacked Francis a couple of weeks ago may have worked to our advantage, and by all accounts Stoke were rubbish, same again next week please.

I refuse to get my hopes up at the moment, so anything positive is a bonus. We will still go to Grimsby and have a good night Saturday at the beer festival and before the game. Once we are inside the ground, well then the reality sinks in and its down to us and Reading to win.

We met up for a quick beer in Worthing, on to the Evening Star then up the Welly as usual. People seamed a bit more relaxed, perhaps many had accepted we were down, just (like me) hoping to be proved wrong.

We took up our seats at a minute to 3 and then the pressure was on. The 756 SILENT Watford fans might as well gone down to the beach for the afternoon. Fair play to them they did cheer when the Palace result came out and they did clap (possibly ironically) at our 4th goal.

The first goal was a peach of a cross and a perfect header. Mayo was put clean through by Rodgers, he put over a superb cross and Blackwell thumped a header into the net (he made up for the one he nodded over a few minutes earlier!).

About 15 minutes later, Mayo takes a long throw, Cullip goes up for the ball, misses as does everyone else and Kitson slams the ball in for 2-0. IMHO the game was finished then and the attention turned to the radio.

Half time talk was all about how we wanted Palace to score (very strange and we decided it felt better to say that we just wanted Stoke to lose!).

Second half and it was all fairly tame. Nathan Jones then broke down the left, pinged in a beauty of a cross and Zamora nodded in his 13th of the season, it was a class goal from start (Jones bringing the ball down first time on his chest, to the header from BZ).

With 10 minutes left I turned round to Wes and said Palace will score now (more to convince myself). As time passed I sort of gave up, then the roar went round the ground. We were up celebrating, desperately waiting for confirmation it was true, it was!!


The final 10 minutes was spent standing willing Palace to hold on, we scored a 4th but the biggest celebration was almost simultaneous as the whistle went at Selhurst Park.

So it's all down to the final 90 minutes!

After the game we went to the Basketmakers and then the end of season bash at the Duke of Wellington. Very vague memories but must have been a good night judging by the state I was in Sunday morning!

Sunday we ventured to Withdean for the Robert Eaton Memorial match between Brighton and Palace fans. We though a cross between Guy Butters and Damion Hilton was playing up front, but it was Paul Camillin! We left just after half time but Palace were 2-0 up and we had friends coming round for the evening! There were around 250 at the game, and it was a good afternoon out and a worthy cause.

Mark R


Beasant - 7 one great save, not a lot else to do. (Missed his strange celebration when we scored the last goal!)
Watson - 7 much more comfortable, but Watford were toothless up front
Mayo - 8 involved in the first two goals and gave 110% as usual
Blackwell - 9 great game, sign him up
Cullip - 8 usual solid dependable display
Jones - 8 good game, pushed forward at every chance
Ingimarsson - 7 solid game, good passing
Rodgers - 7 as above
Hart - 7 went off mid way through the first half, hope he is OK for Grimsby Zamora - 8 much better game, perhaps he was more relaxed now things are sorted off the pitch?
Kitson - 9 some great touches and flick ons and another poachers goal, just wish he had been fit for more of the season as starting to see the real player

Barrett - 8 some great teamwork, really deserved a goal
Oatway - not on long but scored!!!