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West Ham vs Crystal Palace

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone 

Hope your all well 

On Saturday 5th of October, I visited the West Ham Stadium with my mum for the West Ham vs Crystal Palace game. 

Before the day my mum contacted the disabled officers at West Ham to try and reserve a car park space they replied to one of her emails but after this, they didn’t respond so we weren’t entirely sure it had gone through. When we got there we went round to the disabled parking to see and it hadn't been put through but the man let us in as it wasn’t our fault because we had already given them all our details but they didn’t respond. It was much easier for us to park in the car park because otherwise we would have had to park the car and walk for miles to get to the stadium. 

It wasn’t a long drive only about an hour and a bit which was good. We arrived at the stadium at around 3.30 and the doors didn’t open till 4, so while we waited we found a balcony area which overlooked where the players drove in and we saw the Palace bus come in but we couldn’t see any players. Compared to Tottenham there wasn’t much security for us to get in and it is quite a big stadium, but I do think people trust disabled people a bit too much sometimes 😂.

We got to our seat about an hour before kick-off and we had a good view of the pitch, we were behind the goal similar to Tottenham but at the Olympic stadium, it’s all open. When we asked a member of security where our seats were he was a bit rude and acted like we should have known.

The game started at 5.30 and surprisingly this was one of the only early evening games I had been to. So our usual Captain Luka Milivojevic was suspended for the game due to picking up 5 yellows, this meant Roy had a decision to make as to who gets the armband - he went with Gary Cahill who was one of our new signings but I understand this decision due to the amount of experience he has from previously captaining Chelsea and England. Palace was wearing their new White away strip kit in which we had previously defeated Man U in, could it help us come away with a result today? 

Both teams supporters were very passionate for their clubs so there was a lot of arguments between the fans throughout the whole match. 

West Ham started the game strongly but was unable to create any chances from it. But they were able to push Palace into their half. Our first chance to gain some possession was when Zaha and Van-Aanholt were able to play the ball around but it was soon cut out by the West Ham defence. After this Palace was able to play the ball around nicely for the next short period. In the 17th minute James McCarthy (this was his first start in a Palace shirt) needed some treatment after a coming together with Noble, but he was fine to carry on. Due to Milivojevic also usually taking free-kicks and corners PVA had to step in to take them. Palaces first clear chance for a goal came in the 24th minute when Van Aanholt delivered a ball into Cahill who was able to head the ball across the goal, it looked as though it was going to be 1-0 Palace as the ball fell to Ayew but Haller was able to clear the ball off the line for West Ham. Guaita was first called to action after the ball found its way into the box where it was met by an unmarked Haller but his strike was straight at our keeper was able to push the ball out of danger. Another one of Palace’s attempts on goal was cleared off the line after Zaha was able to do some fancy footwork to get the ball to Schlupp but sadly he wasn’t able to get it over the line. Zaha seemed to be back to his full potential after all the drama with him ‘leaving’ over the summer. Palace’s first real test for the West Ham keeper was when McCarthy was able to get a shot off from outside the box leaving the keeper having to make a leaping save just before half time. During injury time West Ham tried their luck on goal but was unable to score from it, that was the final piece of action before half time. 

In the second half, Palace was shooting in the goal in front of the away end, so all the palace fans were hoping for a goal or 2. An early chance came for palace in the second half as Zaha made a run down the right before playing a give and go with Ward but as the ball was played into him he was called offside. West Ham then has a chance on goal but the attempt flew over the crossbar. But it wasn’t long for the first goal of the game to be scored and sadly it was too West Ham as our defence were unable to deal with the ball; the stadium erupted as all the West Ham fans showed there support but they had been pretty quiet throughout the majority of the game leaving the away support to create the atmosphere. Their moment of happiness only lasted 9 minutes as in the 63rd the ref pointed to the palace penalty spot after the ball struck Declan Rice’s arm as Kouyate tried to send the ball goal-wards, our usual penalty taker wasn't there so it was down to Patrick Van- Aanholt to take on the pressure. There were loads of nerves filling the stadium as he ran up to the ball but, of course, he scored a wonderful penalty sending the keeper the wrong way. The away end erupted and it was now game on!! The ultras did let off some smoke bombs but nobody was injured or hurt by them so it wasn't a massive deal. Obviously, this gave the palace fans something to cheer about and they didn’t stop singing till the end of the match, for the home fans well they remained quite after the pen went in because they knew what palace were capable off.

There were many free-kicks for Palace but no key chances were created. The game was very open in the final 20 minutes and it was on a plate for any team to take all 3 points. Our first substitution came in the 81st minute as Andros Townsend came on in replace of James McCarthy, who did well in his first start for Palace. In the 86th minute, West Ham’s Fredericks was given a yellow card after pulling Zaha down giving us a free kick on the left. The initial free-kick was cleared but we were able to keep it alive via Townsend was managed to deliver a cross into the box for Kelly to nod down to Ayew was able to poke the ball into the back of the net, obviously the Palace fans starting to celebrate but it was cut short due to the linesman’s flag being up, VAR was in use so before play resumed without the goal counting we had to wait about 3 minutes to get the final decision as it was a very tight decision to make. It was a very tense moment for the Palace fans as we could have either won the game or it was still a draw. When the final decision was made the ref blew his whistle and pointed to the halfway line to signify the goal counted as there was no offside, it was an incredible moment for everyone at the stadium supporting Palace. Ayew ran in between the home and away fans to celebrate but disappointingly some salty home fans decided it was ok to throw bottles onto the pitch at Ayew luckily they didn’t reach any of the players but that’s not the point but that just showed the immaturity from the West Ham fans ruining the fun of football by making it violent, hopefully they officials are able to deal with the situation and they get punished for attempting to hurt players. Due to the length of time, VAR took to make the decision and also other situations during the match there were 6 minutes added on to the end. We were desperate to keep hold of this result as these were the games we were hoping to pick up points to get as high as possible in the table. There was some very late drama as West Ham asked for a penalty but there wasn’t anything in the challenge to give a penalty for. There was then a free kick awarded to West Ham but nothing came of it as Guaita was able to make a save. That was the final piece of action in the game and it finished 2-1 to Palace it was a really good game and glad we came away with a well deserved 3 points. As Palace was the last game on Saturday we sat in the fourth position in the league overnight which was nice to see. 

After the game had ended the Palace ultras didn’t stop singing for about 30 minutes, this made the atmosphere around the stadium nice for us but probably horrible for the home fans.

When we went back into the stadium we went to see what their disabled toilets were like and like most other places there were no disabled-friendly adaptions made, but they did provide sanitary towels in the toilets as they believed people shouldn’t have to pay for such essential items so this was nice to see as I hadn’t seen it before. 

Because we parked in the West Ham car park we had to wait for the gate to be opened but by the time we got to the car we were only waiting about 5 minutes which wasn’t a problem. The traffic wasn’t as bad as expected so we got home pretty quickly. 

Match stats: 

• Palace had a total of 51.7% possession, West Ham had 48.3%

• Palace had a total of 7 shots with 4 on target. 

• West Ham had 9 shots with 4 on target. 

I would recommend going to the West Ham Stadium as it is really nice venue but the fans are a bit rowdy.

Thank you for reading, I have added some videos from the game into the "videos" tab.

Ellie xx

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