In our final game before the Black and White Santa calls and hopefully gives us three points on Boxing Day, we head to the capital to visit Alan Pardew’s former club Crystal Palace. Selhurst Park being a happy hunting ground for United when playing Palace, even if it wasn’t the case when up against Wimbledon! Newcastle have won their last 4 away games at Palace and will be hoping to make it a Fifth in this Premier League encounter. We had to wait until 1965 before making our first trip to Selhurst Park when both sides played out a 1-1 draw in the Second Division with Bobby Cummings scoring United’s goal. The next time the teams met, Palace had been promoted to the first division and Newcastle were holders of The Fairs Cup, The Magpies coasted to victory that day with Keith Dyson, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson and Wyn Davies all scoring in a comprehensive 3 goal victory.
We were not so clinical in 1972 when we went down 2-1 at Selhurst Park despite John Tudor’s goal, some may remember this game for being the final Newcastle appearance of cult hero Tony Green before having to retire due to injury. We were also on the receiving end of a defeat in December 1978 when Palace were managed by the conman Terry Venables, his Eagles side winning 1-0 that day. Our next victory at Selhurst Park came in 1982 when a David Mills penalty and a Chris Waddle strike sealed the points in a game that finished 2-1; we were turned over however in our promotion season of 83/84 with Peter Beardsley’s goal only proving to be a consolation in a 3-1 reverse.
It was ten years until the next time the two sides met in the league, with Selhurst Park undergoing construction work, Peter Beardsley belted a last minute winner from 25 yards to send the Geordie faithful home happy. The 97/98 season saw Palace back in the Premier League for a brief period, with them suffering a damaging home defeat to a Newcastle side who were not in their best period; Temur Ketsbaia and Jon-Dahl Tommasson scoring in a 2-1 victory in London, something we’d have to wait over 4 years to do again on that wonderful December’s night at Highbury. The 04/05 season was the next time we visited and again we came out victors with two late goals from Patrick Kluivert and Craig Bellamy, a strike partnership that should have gotten far more game time than they did with Kluivert’s effort a Thierry Henry style backheel into the net. Our last meeting came back in the Championship season in 2009 when 1st half goals from Kevin Nolan and Ryan Taylor helped pick up three points in one of the season’s early games on our way to romping home with the title.