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July 23 2024 3.32am

Winning double at Wolves’ lair

January 3 2019

Molineux Stadium: Fired up and ready to go (Photo: Wilf King)

Molineux Stadium: Fired up and ready to go (Photo: Wilf King)

A second fixture of three in six days is tiring enough for commentators never mind players. Jamesey and Wilf King ruggedly report on a very creditable 0-2 victory.

It was reassuring to see the Eagles start with a striker after the negative display against Chelsea (Dec 30) although Jordan Ayew was not exactly most supporters’ golden boy, writes Jamesey.

The striker did, however, go far in redeeming himself with an 83rd-minute opening goal which Palace thoroughly deserved on the balance of play.

The win didn’t improve the table position of 14th but created a 6-point cushion between the Eagles and the strugglers, a great reassurance.

The game itself was a classic example to define the old cliche of football being “a funny old game, Brian”.

Wolves have been enjoying an excellent run of late while the Eagles, although buoyed by that exhilarating win against Man City, have been unpredictable and the goal-scoring bogey (lack of) still lurks.

The red-and-blues dominated the first half over a listless Wolves team. It was not an entertaining match to watch although CPFC fans wouldn’t have cared if only that elusive goal had come from somewhere.

Wolves looked far livelier in the second half with special mention for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Andros Townsend. Aaron improves with every outing and the perpetual Palace worry starts to bite - will the club be able to keep him when the moneybags start sniffing around?

Andros looks as big a threat as Wilfried Zaha at present and is enjoying a splendid run of form while keeper Vicente Guaita made another brilliant save to stop an equaliser in the dying minutes. Surely he must be the Number One keeper now?

Ayew’s well-taken goal has certainly enhanced his prospects at SE25 although he will have to do far more than that to make his loan spell a permanent transfer, one would think.

Wilf, having been fouled from earhole to breakfast time by Bennett, got his reward of sorts when he was blatantly fouled in the last minute of time-added.

Luka Milivojevic slotted home the penalty just like the skipper usually does and that was that - it would be a jubilant return home from the Black Country for the Palace travelling support.

How to have fun at Palace away matches

If ever I question why I travel to away matches supporting Crystal Palace and stand for 95 minutes I just need to remember Molineux on 2nd January 2019, writes Wilf King.

Most of the talk in Coach 1 was about Jordan Ayew, particularly as Connor Wickham had pleaded with Roy Hodgson to start at Wolves.

A decision was taken to support Jordan even to the extent of placing a bet at 750/1 for Ayew to score the first goal, get a hat-trick and Palace to win 3-1. It wasn’t as silly as it sounds.

The pre-match light and fireworks display was impressive and clearly much has been done to the stadium since I last visited.

Throughout the match my friend Stewart was encouraging Ayew with “Come on Jordan” or simply “Ayew”.

It was obvious that Wolves were not at their best but our back four with Vicente Guaita looked impressive. Even Mamadou Sakho ran down the left wing!!

The first half finished 0-0 with very few chances, Palace having shots on target in the 20th and 38th minutes. Lately Palace’s first half performances mean goalless at half time.

Even though both teams upped the tempo in the second half as the game wore on it looked like it would remain goalless.

Step up Ayew. He had a one-on-one with Rui Patricio which was saved but on 83 minutes he superbly controlled a ‘pass’ from Patrick van Aanholt and dispatched his first Palace goal with aplomb.

The away support went mental but there was more to come.

On 90 minutes Vicente earned us another three points with a great save from Neves.

The last kick of the game on 95 minutes was Luka Milivojevic scoring from the spot after Bennett brought down Wilf in the box.

The Palace celebrations were raucous and in response a number of the players gave their shirts to the fans (a lady in Coach 1 had Cheikhou Kouyate’s Number 8 shirt) which was a lovely gesture.

As you can imagine the journey back to SE25 was a lively and happy one with the fans singing “we love you Ayew we do” and “Ayew scores when he wants to”.

I cannot wait for Anfield on 19th January.

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