It is always the most anticipated sporting event in any sport, in any event, in any format: Derby Day.
On Sunday 17th March, Brighton and Hove Albion hosted Crystal Palace in derby where two sets of fans walking in with mixed emotions.
Firstly, Palace, the one I kill my rivals (and with a bad taste in my mouth), their fans come in with high hopes of yet another win. They have been mocking the Albion for years for our inept victories over them at the AMEX (Withdean or Goldstone for that matter). In fact we have not beaten the Eagles since 1988 at home.
Then Brighton, had 3 away games to endure before this and Gus was not half hacked off. We said au revoir to Craig Mackail-Smith for the rest of the season leaving just two recognised strikers for the miserable away tie at Bolton: Barnes and Ulloa.
Well you would think that our beloved marmite replica of a footballer would show his worth having previously been dropped/suspended/injured. Oh no, not at all. The delusional Anglo-Saxon born Austrian international – seriously FIFA, you allow this!? – thought, being 1-0 down, against the run of play, to trip – yes TRIP – the referee. No excuses, red card.
At first you think, hey it will be fine, he will be off for 3 matches. No, Gus’ lovechild has already been sent off this season so that is an extra game on top of the standard 3 match ban for “foul and abusive language” that the referee filed it under. Then the FA decide to give him a one-way hearing where we see him notch another 3 games on top of that. 7 game suspension and now only Ulloa as our only recognised striker!
You could not write this. We could barely hit a barndoor with a banjo against Bristol City yet we are suppose to feel optimistic? Anything can happen on derby day. It went out way!
The first half could not get any better. A wonderful cross in the 41st minute sees Ulloa jump and head in past Speroni. 1-0. Crazy celebrations but I remained pessimistic. AMEX last year we took the lead and lost 3-1. FFSMurray.
Then Buckley gets fouled (hey you claim Zaha gets fouled, I’ll claim this as a foul) just outside the box, free-kick. I do not know why, but the Palace defence thought Orlandi would be taking it, forgetting about David Lopez and boy did he pay it off. Superb curling free-kick clipping the bar and beating Speroni again. 2-0
Half-time and the North Stand concourse is buzzing, absolutely buzzing! Songs of praise all over the place and the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing.
Second half approaches and the third and final goal will put Ulloa in the record books. Calderon down the wing to Buckley to Calderon to Buckley to Bridcutt who crosses; Orlandi with the header for ULLOA!!! Beautiful move right out of the training ground and a superb volley from, er, 7 yards?!
Most joyous occasion got even better following my post match pie and pint! Palace fans waiting for their train and all of a sudden I hear:
And Palace I’m
That summarises my Sunday pretty nicely.
Happy St Patrick’s Day Palace.