OLLIE’S FURY AS PALACE STUTTER
BLACKBURN ....1 C PALACE ........1
IAN Holloway claims Crystal Palace’s play-off nerves would have been over had Blackburn’s Grant Hanley not “cheated” and denied his side victory.
The moment in question came 20 minutes from the end at Ewood Park, Scotland international Hanley appeared to push Eagles striker Glenn Murray in the box with the scores level at 11 – much to the annoyance of Holloway.
Earlier Stephen Dobbie had given Palace the lead, but Jordan Rhodes struck to leave Holloway’s side clinging to a play-off place – although still with a game in hand on their rivals.
“Do I need to mention the most blatant shove on anyone I’ve ever seen? I don’t understand what excuses (the officials) have got not to see that,” said Holloway.
“If that’s not a penalty, I don’t know what is. I just find it pretty sickening. Am I exaggerating or not?
“He would have scored without them cheating at that point, because that's what it is isn't it? You can’t defend properly because you shove somebody over. What more do you want Glenn to do?
“Sometimes it’s hard when you don’t get what you want and you’ve got to react to it – we’ve got to keep going.
“And when all around you don’t believe you’ve got to keep believing and that’s the beautiful thing about life.
“We’ve got an extra game to everyone else, we’ve got Millwall (on Tuesday).
“If we can win that we’re definitely in the play-offs. It’s still in our hands, but I thought it should have been over here.”
Palace will want to secure a top-six berth as soon as possible, they are now without a win in eight games but at least Dobbie is finding his shooting boots. He struck just before the half-hour mark when he collected Murray’s knockdown, skipped past Hanley and slotted into the bottom left-hand corner from 12 yards – following on from his effort in the 2-2 draw with Leicester last Saturday.
The winger almost doubled his and Palace’s tally six minutes later but he sent a 30yard free-kick narrowly wide of Greg Sandomierski’s righthand post.
Rhodes equalised though three minutes before the break, collecting Josh King’s through ball on the left and lobbing Julian Speroni with the outside of his right foot.
After the break Aaron Wilbraham caught Rovers’ offside trap napping, before running clear down the left and skimming the bar from a tight angle.
Palace struck the woodwork again shortly after the hour mark when skipper Mile Jedinak headed Dobbie’s corner against the bar from eight yards out before Hanley’s shove on Murray.
But for Blackburn, who are now officially safe from the drop, it was an end to a traumatic week after their own lawyers admitted the club was “a shambles” in the £2.25m Henning Berg compensation case on Friday.
“I can’t control the court case so I don’t waste my time reading about it,” said Rovers caretaker boss Gary Bowyer.
“It has no effect on the game so it’s a waste of time looking at it, to be honest. But this is a good point against a very good side.
“They’re an attacking team and they play a passing game and I thought we matched that at times and played some good stuff ourselves.
“With a bit more care in the attacking third we might have won it. Looking forward to next week is all we can do – that’s a long time at this football club to look forward to.”
HAPPY CHAPS: Stephen Dobbie celebrates his goal with Aaron Wilbraham