In the last full Saturday of the soccer season, 4 May, Crystal Palace’s last minute winning goal against Peterborough at Selhurst Park guaranteed a place in the Championship play-offs and helped rescue Millwall from relegation when they lost away to Derby County.
22, 154 spectators watched one of the most exciting and dramatic home games of the season with Palace struggling to play against a bad run in which they had not won in eight games. In the second half Peterborough United, managed by Sir Alex Ferguson’s son, Darren, were 2-1 up and hoping to keep it that way if they were to stay in the Championship.
But in the 83rd minute Palace equalized through Kevin Phillips and in the final minute of normal time Mile Jedinak scored a dramatic winner.
90th minute goal at Selhurst for Mile Jedinak. That could send Peterborough down!
— Crystal Palace FC (@CPFC) May 4, 2013
So the Eagles’ charismatic manager Ian Holloway, respected by players and fellow managers as well as the media as one of the great characters of the game, prepares his team for the first play-off semi-final leg against Brighton Friday 10 May at Selhurst Park followed by the away leg Monday 13 May. He has the track record to take Palace into the Premiership.
When he took over at Blackpool in his first season he took them into the play-offs with a sixth place position and then steered them to success in the play-off final and fairy tale season in the Premiership with one of the smallest playing budgets in its history. Palace fans are hoping he can do the same for them.
Millwall fans have every reason to thank Palace. Their form has collapsed; four out of the last five games lost. Losing one nil away at Derby County could have consigned the Lions to NPower League One, but the fate of the teams around them was to their advantage. Kenny Jackett has a summer to rebuild from a season of ups and downs and included a Wembley FA Cup Semi-final against Wigan.