Hopkin Looking To Curl One…

A regular blog dedicated to Crystal Palace Football Club through the eyes of a fanatical supporter, contemplating everything from results to the colour of Stuart O'Keefe's boot laces…

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Andy Johnson… More Than Capable Of Scoring… And Neil Shipperley Has!

Today marks the eighth anniversary of that sunny afternoon in Cardiff when Iain Dowie’s samba dancing play-off crashers gave the season a perfect fairytale ending by securing promotion to the Premier League.

The squad that had been languishing at the wrong end of the table in December were transformed under Dowie, playing a high energy brand of football and sneaking into the top six on the final day of the season.

Just after the 2nd half began at the Millenium Stadium, prolific front man Andy Johnson picked the ball up near the centre of the pitch, made his way towards the left hand side of the box and let a speculative low shot go.

The West Ham goalkeeper, Stephen Bywater could only parry the ball away, handing Neil Shipperley the opportunity to write himself into Palace folklore forever.

From all of three yards, Shipperley prodded the ball back towards the goal, sending 30,000 south Londoners crazy.

The rest of the game was tense, with the Hammers desperate to equalise and our boys clinging onto the lead for dear life but when Bywater hurried his clearance deep into stoppage time, sending it out of the field of play and into the dugouts, the agony subsided.

The final whistle blew, the turnaround was complete and the team no one gave a hope to on Boxing Day was back in the big time.

What a day.

“Get the beers in boys!”

Ward Move Imminent

It appears the saga of Joel Ward’s future is finally reaching its conclusion, with the defender at the club this afternoon to finalise the deal according to Richard Cawley of the South London Press.

It’s believed that the figure agreed between the two clubs is around £450,000, with Ward expected to put pen to paper on a four year contract.

Should the deal be confirmed this afternoon, it will represent a significant coup for Freedman and the board, with the Pompey player apparently choosing South London as his destination over five other Championship clubs, including Ipswich and Leeds.

According to a number of separate sources, Ward was very impressed by what Freedman had to say when he met him last week, with the clubs burgeoning academy no doubt forming a big part of Freedman’s sales pitch.

With Nathaniel Clyne fully expected to move on in the not too distant future, it’s fair to say that the club felt the need to act quickly in securing a long-term replacement, a role that Ward fits as well as anyone I can think of from our division this season.

Swift transfer dealing are not something regularly associated with our club, so seeing this deal being all but completed before the calendar even reaches June is both exciting and unexpected.

I’m sure Joel will do a great job of filling Clyney’s boots.

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