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September 30 2020 4.24am

Filberts out-Foxed

September 28 2014

Jason Puncheon turns on the heat against the Foxes' defence

Jason Puncheon turns on the heat against the Foxes' defence

As usual these days, Selhurst was packed with expectant football supporters for the visit of Leicester City. Jamesey gives the lowdown.

Forgive me if you've heard this before, but I was unaware that the itinerant mobile home publicist, Steve Claridge, had rewritten the history books.

In 1996, he shinned in a 120th minute winning goal to send Leicester up to the Premier League, thus denying their play-offs final opponents CPFC.

That completed this writer's most miserable ever visit to the old Wembley Stadium.

Mr Claridge is now quoted as saying: "That is probably one of the sweetest strikes I've made and I don't know why I said it came of my shin."

Oh yeah?

That, of course, was 18 years ago and time passes. So am I still bitter? Well, a bit.

But let me drag myself back to September 27, 2014, when the visitors to Selhurst Park, were our old rivals, the Foxes. Like us, they are occasional members of the Premier League and are generally, also like us, considered to be only in the top flight to make up the numbers and provide cannon fodder for the foreign mercenaries of the elite.

However a week ago, both Leicester and ourselves upset the football apple cart and the bookies' actuarial calculations with a bang.

The Foxes had the audacity to defeat the mighty (?) Manchester United, 5-3, at the King Power Stadium while the Eagles, with equal cheek, went to Goodison Park and took three points from Everton with a 3-2 victory.

So the scene was set for an interesting tussle and which of the two comparative "minnows" would be the biggest fish?

The first half gave little clue and both sides gave their all in a thoroughly entertaining 45 minutes.

The speed of Jamie Vardy was a worry to the Palace defenders but Jason Puncheon and Yannick Bolasie, rampaging down the wings, also scared the Leicester men and Kasper Schmeichel had to make some superb saves to keep their sheet clean.

However a few minutes into the second period, Palace asserted their superiority.

Jason Puncheon took a corner which was eventually flicked in by Fraizer Campbell.

Very shortly after that, a Puncheon free kick was bludgeoned in by Mile Jedinak's head. The Eagles' joy had only partly subsided before it was time for another dose of wild satisfaction.

So at 2-0 it looked as though Palace were heading for their first home win of the 2014-15 campaign and to our great delight that was how it ended.

Football, like all of life, can be unpredictable and it is only nine months since poor Puncheon was one of the most derided players in the English game after his spectacular penalty miss at White Hart Lane. It must be admitted that, as misses go, it was a real lulu.

However he has more than made up for that mistake subsequently and providing the ammunition for two set piece goals against the Filberts speaks for itself.

There was much made of a rift between Punch and manager Neil Warnock when the latter took over the reins. But with a little wining and dining and peaceful talking initiated by NW, the two are both working together now for what matters - the success of CPFC.

Tact and diplomacy are certainly not qualities you would have attributed to Neil Warnock for most of his career. But the leopard miraculously seems to have changed its spots.

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