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January 18 2021 11.02am

Flying higher still

October 4 2015

Yannick Bolasie lurks near the Baggies' goal before nodding in the first

Yannick Bolasie lurks near the Baggies' goal before nodding in the first

In his last column Jamesey wrote about the current Palace 'glow' and after a 2-0 home win against West Bromwich Albion the aura got even 'glowier'.

The weather at Selhurst on an autumn Saturday afternoon (Oct 3) was misty to start and pleasant to finish. Likewise the football could have been so described.

Most of us knew what to expect from former Eagles boss Tony Pulis now managing the Baggies. Some well organised defensive tactics and the occasional counter-attack - and that was pretty well what we got.

Your columnist felt the sudden pangs of hunger walking to the stadium. Although I normally avoid the food and drink outlets inside and surrounding Selhurst Park I had a gander at the selection of stalls opposite the Main Stand.

The options were much more limited than for my last visit but to my considerable surprise there among the burgers, hot dogs, pies and chips was a one-man van with a window selling pulled pork, one of my favourite snacks.

So I lashed out a fiver and was served with delicious pulled pork in a fresh warm bap, slathered in apple sauce - extremely palatable and excellent value for the cash.

As football grub this was sophistication indeed. Could we expect a revolutionary breakthrough on the horizon with vendors offering Whitstable oysters, beluga Caviar and finest pan-fried river trout? Probably not.

As far as the game was concerned a crowd of 24,000 was treated to a deep-lying defensive formation from the Baggies although Pulis started with his new 'wunderkind', Saido Berahino, who is tipped for greater things.

However it is worth remembering that many are called and few are chosen. Berahino was largely ineffectual even in the odd Baggies counter-attack and was pulled off at half-time.

Palace very much dominated the first half with WBA only coming to life in the five minutes before the half-time whistle when they looked seriously like nicking an unlikely goal.

It seems unfair to single out players when the whole team put in a magnificent performance but to this supporter Wilfried Zaha and Yohan Cabaye were the star players for the Eagles.

Wilf launched sortie after sortie down the right of the field and looked so impressive that he was given the privilege of an interview on Match of the Day.

Is he on the verge of Second Coming after being hailed as the new sensation, the Manchester United debacle, a period in the loan wilderness and now his climb back to being a top echelon fixture?

I keep forgetting that Wilf is now 22 and no longer a boy prodigy. the years fly by but the look of pop-eyed surprise on his face still remains on the field and during an interview.

Yohan was simply class. Everything he does reeks of class whether it be passing, intelligent running or anything that is required.

What a brilliant acquisition for CPFC the Frenchman was and it must be stating the obvious to say that he would almost certainly never would have come to Selhurst unless Alan Pardew had been at the helm.

Palace continually battered at the Baggies' door but it seemed that nothing would ever break down the rearguard until Cabaye solved the equation.

A superb, floating, curling centre in the 68th minute from Cabaye was met by the rising head of Yannick Bolasie and at last the ball was in the Albion net.

The chocolate on the cappuccino came a minute before full time when Wilf was fouled yet again but this time indisputably in the box.

Cabaye stepped up to the plate and coolly smashed the ball into the left had corner of the net. 2-0 to the Eagles.

As I write Crystal Palace stand third in the English Premier League and in the minutes between the goals a chant, "We're all going on a European holiday", had gradually been rising in the singing areas.

The position could of course change depending on the results of Sunday's games but the thought of a couple of days in Munich, Madrid or Milan next season is very appealing.

The bookies seem to think we have as good a chance as the likes of Southampton and West Ham, and it might be worth taking advantage of Paddy Power's 11/1 odds of us ending the season in the top four.

Perhaps it's not such a daft aspiration as it once would have seemed?


Email Jamesey with your comments to jevans3704@aol.com

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