Football: Palace face threat of unwanted place in history books

Crystal Palace 0

Leeds United 2

There may still be three months of the season to go, but Crystal Palace fans are beginning to wonder whether their team may be heading for an unwanted place in the record books.

No team in the history of the Football League or Premiership has gone a whole season without winning a single home fixture. Palace, however, have now failed to win any of their first 11 home games, which have produced seven defeats and four draws. They have eight matches at Selhurst Park left.

On Saturday's dismal evidence, Palace will be hard pushed even to equal the worst home record in the English game's history, held jointly by five clubs. Loughborough (1899-1900, Second Division), Notts County (1904-05, First Division), Arsenal (1912-13, First Division), Rochdale (1931-32, Third Division North) and Blackpool (1966-67, First Division) all managed just one home victory in a season.

What is most perplexing for Steve Coppell, the Palace manager, is that his previously sound defence has suddenly begun to leak goals. As in their previous home game against Everton, Saturday's match was all over for Palace after 13 minutes as they conceded two sloppy goals.

Rod Wallace was unmarked as he ran on to Gary Kelly's through ball, while tame challenges by Valerien Ismael and Andy Roberts gave Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink the chance to score from 25 yards, thanks partly to a deflection off Andy Linighan.

"If we continue to do sloppy things like that, then we'll just get more of the same punishment," Coppell said. "We've got to tighten it up at the back."

Palace are sorely missing Paul Warhurst, who had been a steadying influence in defence before suffering a stress fracture of the leg. Meanwhile Andy Roberts and Marc Edworthy, who shared the sweeper's role earlier in the season, have both been needed in midfield as Palace's injury problems show no signs of improving.

Without Attilio Lombardo, Michele Padovano and Neil Shipperley, Palace looked desperately short of ideas in attack. Bruce Dyer did not receive the service to feet which he needs, while Tomas Brolin rarely got far enough forward to make any impact against his former club.

It was all too easy for Leeds, for whom Lucas Radebe was a tower of strength. Having started in midfield, where he had Brolin under his thumb, the South African was a rock in central defence for the last half hour.

While Wallace and Hasselbaink were always a threat, the other player to take the eye was Bruno Ribeiro. The Portuguese midfielder was a bundle of creative energy and looked a more accomplished player than his vastly more expensive colleague, David Hopkin.

Goals: Wallace (7) 0-1; Hasselbaink (13) 0-2.

Crystal Palace (5-3-2): Miller; Smith, Ismael, Linighan, Hreidarsson, Gordon; Edworthy, Roberts, Brolin; Dyer, Bent. Substitutes not used: Nash (gk), Quinn, Emblen, Boxall, Ginty.

Leeds United (4-4-2): Martyn; Kelly, Wetherall, Molenaar (Haland, 61), Robertson; Hopkin, Radebe, Ribeiro, Kewell; Wallace, Hasselbaink (Matthews, 86). Substitutes not used: Bowyer, Beeney (gk), Halle.

Bookings: Crystal Palace: Hreidarsson, Bent, Gordon. Leeds: Haland.

Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield).

Man of the match: Radebe.

Attendance: 25,248.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory