Palace begin to believe after the journey to Hull and back

GOLDIE’s feathers are ruffled: his eagle eye is not used to seeing Palace immune from travel sickness

So it’s finally happened. A Saturday away win for the Palace.  Other than fish, you have to wonder what was in the Humberside air on Saturday as the boys finally broke the away hoodoo which had lasted for 18 months.

But it’s the 18 months that make the feeling so special. It’s the wait for that win that makes victory taste so sweet. It was more than a gritty 1-0 away win. It was sheer elation.

The long journey home from Hull, with 606 on the car radio, featured the plight of top flight clubs. One Everton fan saw administration and relegation on the cards, while Arsenal “fans” concerned themselves with how terrible it would be to finish outside the top four.

And there’s the difference. For Palace fans,  a 1-0 away win through an OG, and we go mental. Arsenal fans call for their manager’s head because of a little bit of turbulence. Forget Palace, they ought to spend a season following AFC Wimbledon or Rochdale. Now that’s dedication. And that’s why it means so much.

Amid our further delight at Brighton’s capitulation, we can be forgiven for allowing genuine talk of a promotion push. Following the Coventry game, talk of a top-half finish was considered plausible (at least after a few beers). Now though, anything is possible. We are genuine promotion contenders. After four games.

Fortress Selhurst, whose grandeur charms any Palace fan with her “vintage” exterior, will surely not start giving up points any time soon. So, after one away win, we are now in a position to demolish this division.

Nine points from 12 is our best start in five years. Regardless of how the rest of the season pans out, a strong start will be invaluable in ensuring we are at least a Championship club next season.

I remember last season dreading most games. Surely there’s something not right with that statement? Constant fear and so much riding on a dodgy pass or refereeing decision made what should be an enjoyable afternoon a nerve-wracking experience. Now though, supporting Palace has a refreshing sense of freedom, I can look forward to tonight’s night’s game against Crawley, and Saturday’s clash with recently relegated Blackpool, in the knowledge that there is no alarming backdrop or sense of impending doom.

Tonight’s clash is perhaps bigger than mainstream media bothers to realise. As far as I can ascertain from the week’s “news”, Chelsea might be interested in Modric, and Nasri might be off to Man City. Who knew? The rest of the footballing landscaped, as usual, is treated as insignificant.

While one wouldn’t class Crawley as rivals, the newcomers most certainly could be should they flex their financial muscles in the Football League in the next few years. I like what Crawley have done, good luck to them, they are a nice club. But being just down the A23 from south London, and a threat to our geographical fan base,  it would be nice if our reserves could put them back in their place with a 4-0 thumping.

That isn’t the Palace way though, is it? In an ideal world we will rest a few and beat Crawley, going on to smash Holloway’s seasiders at home. I have learnt not to make Palace-related bets. We are somewhat unpredictable.

Three wins on the bounce has left Palace fans flying high, I am genuinely excited for Tuesday’s game. I hope I do not leave Selhurst with a sense of being brought back to reality.

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