Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace
Someone once said that football was 'a funny old game'. I think we can all safely say that there was nothing funny about our performance on Tuesday night.
From the euphoria of beating arguably the biggest club in the division to the despair of losing to the richest club in the division. 3 days isn't a long time, but the scale of emotions couldn`t have been further apart. 'The Management' said that the lads were tired, not the quote we'd hope to hear from a professional side who was due to play their second game in a 10 spell, fortunately for us Darby (County that is not Terence Trent) are still in the cup and after Saturday's trip to the big city at least there may be some solace in having a full week off to prepare for the 6 pointer at home to Donny.
How to get there
It's not getting to London that's the problem it's getting to one of the most awkwardly placed grounds within the capital that takes the time.
M55 M6 South then either the M40 or the M1 which ever suits. Last season we took the 40. Once you hit the circular lovingly known as the M25 leave at J7. Follow the signs for the A23-Croydon. At Purley bear left onto the A23 at its junction with the
A235 Croydon. Pass roundabouts and junctions with the A232 and A236 as you pass Croydon, after which the A23 bears left at Thornton Heath (at the Horseshoe pub roundabout). Here you must go straight over, into Brigstock Road (B266), passing Thornton Heath Station on your left and bearing right on to the High Street. At the next mini roundabout, left onto Whitehorse Lane. You are finally here.
An alternative route is to leave the 25 at J 10 and follow the A3 towards London. After about ten miles you will reach the Tolworth roundabout at which you turn right onto the A240 towards Epsom. After about three miles turn onto the A232 towards Sutton. Follow the A232 through Sutton and Carshalton and just before reaching Croydon, turn left onto the A23 north towards Thornton Heath'. Then as above.
The sat nav guided us in last time around. The postcode for Selhurst Park is SE25 6PU. We parked on the road right by the Clifton Arms.
For the Virgin lovers amongst us the nearest stations are Selhurst or Thornton Heath both accessible via Victoria, Clapham Junction, London Bridge and East Croydon - it's a 10-15minute trek from here. You can also use Norwood Junction station (Victoria), but is a little further away. Do not use Crystal Palace station it`s nowhere near the ground…..
Selhurst Park is a bit of a mish mash. The old wooden seating with the obligatory pillars in our view remind you of Hillsborough, then behind one goal perched up high is a giant screen. PHT remarked wonder if we'll ever get one of those? Whilst a number to text your MOTM flashed across the screen during the latter stages of the game. Talk about cash cows, the number wasn't free of course and so another money making idea passes us by. Away fans are sat towards a corner in the Arthur Wait Stand. Room for 2000, with a lot of Pool fans making the trip to knock the ground of their list last season I expect around the 500 mark to travel this weekend.
Where to drink
The Clifton Arms is the nearest boozer to the ground, we landed early enough but due to comparisons with Rotherham's now legendary Butchers Arms we left the warmth and set off on a 10 minute hike to the pub of choice for most Pool fans - The Prince George Nearby are a Wetherspoon's & The Railway Telegraph.
As we got a soaking going back to the ground I wished we had settled for the Clifton.
Ale is on sale inside the ground.
Plod & Stewards
I found the stewards here to be a bit picky. Constantly telling fans to sit down and not to sing towards the home fans sat behind the goal & who can ever forget the old women chase over the seats.
For the old bill - it's the met. As usual a lot will depend on what side of the bed that the individual peelers will have got out on, and this will dictate their attitude towards us.
Fear Factor Rating - 2
Neil Warnock wasn't too happy with our lucky referee last time here. Hoolahan's miss from a certain goal in the end didn't prove to be too costly. But at the moment with injuries, loans, loans with injuries, it's all hands to the pumps, and with all around catching us up all too rapidly lets hoping we put a performance in that full of passion and fire, and that we don't leave the smoke looking over our shoulder at those below us any more than we already are.
Onwards + Upwards