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The Dwight stuff

May 8 2016

Dwight and Punch attack the Stoke goal without success in the first half

Dwight and Punch attack the Stoke goal without success in the first half

Jamesey strolled down to the Eagles' last home match of the season the sun shone and the result was a rare but massively important 2016 league 2-1 win.

Everyone with red-and-blue allegiance must have been a little jumpy as the club has been hovering dangerously near the relegation zone.

Nobody with any Palace history would underestimate our ability to screw it all up.

It has already been pointed out many times but it's worth repeating the dire example of the "Oldham Syndrome". 1993 saw a lap of honour by the team at Selhurst with three games to go.

CPFC wasn't mathematically safe but the Latics couldn't possibly win their last three games, could they? Of course they did and the Eagles descended through the trap door and not Oldham.

Anyhow the victory against Stoke (May 7) put fans' minds to rest and now Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich can agonise about who'll be joining Aston Villa next season.

On a beautiful day in the merry month of May, the Eagles commenced without Wilfried Zaha and Mile Jedinak and attacked the Potters with all guns blazing.

Nevertheless, it was Stoke who drew first blood with a well taken strike from Charlie Adam in the 26th minute.

To be fair the Potters had already looked more like scoring than the Eagles and the goal seemed to deflate the home side.

We faithful fans looked sadly at each other. Surely this wasn't the beginning of yet another defeat?

In the second half, the home side ran out with more of a spring in their step.

A mere minute in, and Yannick Bolasie ploughed through the Stoke defence and was bundled over in the box. Fortunately the referee allowed the advantage and the predatory Dwight Gayle stroked the loose ball into the Potters' net.

Now it was game on, and in the 68th minute, Gayle curled an excellent free-kick into the Holmesdale goal.

Arguably Jakob Haugaard should have done better but the fact remained that Palace had scored twice and although Stoke should really have equalised through Marko Arnautovic's golden chance, for once Lady Luck smiled on Selhurst Park and three points ensured at least one more season in the Stacksomoulah League.

And, on the subject of moulah, Dwight's brace has added 100m to the club's bank balance for 2016-17. At 50m per goal perhaps Mr Parish will give the lad a little present although the player will predominantly have the strong possibility of running out in the starting 11 at Wembley on May 21.

The season's final league game will end at Southampton next Sunday (May 15) with a match that has little significance other than pride and possibly a few more quid in the bank with a higher finish in the table.

The club announced that tickets (strictly one each) for the cup final would be sold in five phases starting last Wednesday (May 4).

Your columnist was hoping that buying his ticket would be as easy as it was for the semi against Watford.

Falling into the phase 1 category, I logged on at 9.30am bought my ticket in Block 124 and it was all done and dusted in 10 minutes.

As many more mature HOL members have noted, it was a far cry from 1990 when we queued round the car park for several hours while Uncle Ron (Noades, that is) looked benevolently on, no doubt imagining the sound of cash registers ringing.

Mind you, costs have escalated somewhat over the decades and the seat I have just been allotted cost just under 120 in all.

I can't remember what the prices were for the final and replay in 1990 but I can clearly recall the cost of my first ever season ticket in 1979 about 80 and I wasn't even a senior concession then.

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