Scunny Match Report: Palace Didn't Fold Under Pressure From Iron

Written by Jim Daly

FYP has never witnessed a robbery before, and probably wouldn't know what to do, aside from shout "don't do that!" or "seriously, I'm going to call the police", but yesterday FYP watched a burglary so blatant we're surprised warrants haven't been issued for the arrests of 11 men in red and blue shirts from the south London area yet.

Palace grabbed a 2-1 win with a late, late goal from FYP favourite Neil Danns, but it was much more than the Eagles deserved having been under pressure for large periods of the game. Still, who cares?

We'll take everything we can get at the moment and the win lifts Palace to within just nine points of the play-offs. Damn Agilo and their 10-point deduction enforcing administration.

But the final-whistle jubilation seemed a long way off 10 minutes into the game as Scunny's forward three of Hooper, Thompson and McDermott terrorised the Palace defence in the opening exchanges. Clint Hill had a terrible time down the left as Thompson repeatedly made him look like a Sunday league player, summed up by one fresh air clearance which Thompson capitalised on and it was only the intervention of the excellent Matt Lawrence who prevented a goal.

In fact, Lawrence was the only defender with his head screwed on yesterday and without his MOM performance, we could have surely lost. Hooper and Byrne both missed guilt-edged chances before the half-time whistle came and the Eagles fans breathed a huge, collective sigh of relief.

After half-time Palace looked a bit more confident, but still spent most of the match chasing claret and light blue shadows. It took until about 60 minutes for the Eagles to realise that lumping long balls into the box was never going to materialise into anything with the 12ft Jones easily heading away anything delivered.

However, against the run of play Darren Ambrose put Palace 1-0 up with a smartly taken shot from the left of the box. For some reason FYP knew he was going to score when he lined up the shot. That sparked Palace into life and suddenly Nick Carle and Neil Danns seemed to find their 'on' switches and began buzzing around midfield. Keiran Djilali came on for Danny Butterfield almost unnoticed while Palace celebrated Ambrose's goal and the young winger had much more of an impact than our number 20.

Djilali drew a foul by Scunny's Williams which led to a red card for the defender and also had two brilliant chances to put the game to bed but snatched at his far post volley, before firing right at Murphy from 10 yards out. Experience and confidence will teach him how to bury those, but he looked bright and was always in the right position. He has bulked up too since his introduction last season and FYP is making a mental note to follow his progress. Scunny, more than deservedly, equalised with five minutes to go. A corner was flicked on at the near post by Mirfin and it eluded everyone and went in. Most Palace fans made the face that said "hmm, fair enough".

But the games wasn't over and Palace still pressed for a winner. Lee Hills came on to give Palace a bit more of a cutting edge down the left and Nate Clyne also began pushing on. It was Clyne's run that led to the winner, he shaped to shoot but fed Danns who spun on the right of the box, got a lucky bounce, but then cooly fired home with his left-foot from 18-yards, the ball curling deliciously into the far corner. Cue delirium in the away stand and on the pitch.

A massive bundle of Palace players mirrored events in the away end. This means so much to all of us. The final whistle was seconds later and Palace fans and players clapped each other for what seemed like hours. What next in this bizarre epsiode of the club's history? FYP doesn't know but can't wait.