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.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news

Sport
footballThe latest scores and Twitter updates from tonight’s games, featuring Bayern Munich vs Man City and Chelsea vs Schalke
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Extras
10 best table lamps
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

English Teacher (Bristol and South Gloucestershire)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: English teachers for day to day cover,...

Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 6 Teacher RequiredThis teaching...

SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's Stortford / Stansted

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week