The start was of course at the Turf on a day that was just too hot to play football. Palace won and that with only nine players on the pitch, and that after trailing 2-1 to the Clarets. As we went on to lose enough Palace went on to win another two to go clear at the top of the league.
A look at the league table now shows that victories against Burnley, Watford and Franchise (two of them at Selhurst) were hardly a marker for a successful season. That’s how it turned out with only one win in the next fifteen as they slumped from the top to the bottom three.
Needless to say it cost the manager his job, let’s face it the Palace Chairman Simon Jordan is hardly the most patient and having only appointed Steve Kember in the summer he very quickly dismissed him.
Defender Kit Symons was appointed as caretaker boss and he made it clear that he would like the job on a permanent basis, there were even suggestions that he would get it. But Jordan was looking elsewhere all the time and a number of names were in the frame.
One of those names was their former coach and now Burnley manager Stan Ternent and rumours suggest that it was only Stan’s wage demands that prevented him returning to Palace.
Eventually though Jordan got his man in Oldham boss and former Palace player Iain Dowie just as Symons was winning two successive games. Incredibly he waited until 30 minutes before the kick off at Reading before telling Symons he was no longer required, a decision that did not go down too well with the caretaker and made worse with the television cameras there.
Dowie had done a superb job at Oldham, his first managerial position, and took them to the play offs last season before seeing many of his players move on when the club hit crisis in the summer.
His start at Palace has been mixed, starting with a 1-0 home win against Millwall. But that was followed up with a surprise win at Ipswich in the last match of 2003.
This year has seen them go out of the FA Cup beaten 3-0 by a Kanoute hat trick at Spurs.
That win at Ipswich came after they fell behind early in the game to a goal from Jermaine Wright and they still trailed with half an hour to go.
But Andy Johnson came to the rescue scoring twice with Julian Gray, yes the same one that Simon Jordan told to clear off, getting a goal in between.
The Palace team included goalkeeper Thomas Myhre who is on loan from Sunderland whilst in midfield was Michael Hughes who signed a few days after their win at Burnley. They are the only two new players since the opening day of the season.
The full lined up was: Thomas Myhre, Kit Symons, Tony Popovic, Danny Butterfield, Julian Gray, Michael Hughes (Shaun Derry 87), Gary Borrowdale, Aki Riihilahti, Wayne Routledge, Andy Johnson, Neil Shipperley. Subs not used: Dougie Freedman, Tommy Black, Curtis Fleming, Cedric Berthelin.
Click HERE to see all Crystal Palace’s results this season.
Past Results in the last 20 years
Click HEREto see all our results against Crystal Palace since the first meeting, a 4-2 win in 1969 at Turf Moor.