Crystal Palace played out a 1-1 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage yesterday afternoon, with Pape Souare getting his first goal for the club to draw us level early on in the second half.
With Julian Speroni out of action with a hand injury and the much discussed Yannick Bolasie apparently still struggling with a hamstring strain, Palace began the game with Wayne Hennessey in between the sticks aided by the standard back four of Ward, Delaney, Dann and Souare.
In midfield, Jedinak, McArthur, Puncheon, Cabaye and Lee Chung-Yong supported Glenn Murray as our lone striker, with a number of recognised first-team regulars on the bench, but unfortunately for Pardew and his team, it was the hosts who took a very early lead, when Pringle fired home from the edge of the penalty area.
Whilst the first half saw Palace enjoy a lot of possession, they struggled to break Kit Symons’ side down, with Pardew introducing Zaha, Ledley and Mutch for Cabaye, Jedinak and Lee at the interval, with the Eagles getting their reward after just five minutes of the second period, thanks to a header from the aforementioned Souare.
The remainder of the game saw the players push for a winner, with Dwight Gayle coming within inches of giving us the lead late on, only to see Andy Lonergan claw the ball away from goal at the last available second, giving both teams a share of the points by the river.
After a full and varied pre-season campaign, we are now just six days away from the resumption of Premier League football, with yesterday’s performance, particularly in the second 45 minutes, giving everyone plenty of reasons to be cheerful as we gear ourselves up for another high-octane nine month white-knuckle ride.