Kenny Wharton (Fulham), Mark McGhee (Leicester), Alan Shearer (Leicester), Papiss Cisse (Palace), Dwight Gayle (Norwich) and Isaac Hayden (Chelsea)–just some scorers oflast-minute winners I have had the privilege of witnessing in almost 40 years of traipsing up to Barrack Road, and each of these glorious moments are still so vivid in my memory that I could likely recall in great detail every bruise suffered, along with who (or what) caused them in the melee’s that followed.

All are incredible memories that I will take to the grave.

So, as Bruno Guimaraes leapt through the air like Peter Withe in his pomp to bury his header past Kasper Schmeichel on Sunday afternoon, I don’t think for one second that my lad will have realised that in 30 years’ time, he will be able to look back upon that exact moment and remember the levels of unbridled joy that it caused him. Normally quite reserved, it almost brought me to tears to see him jumping around without a care for anything in the world – fists pumping, hugging me, screaming celebratory noises that can only be described as primal, hugging total strangers.

Whilst they don’t come along very often, moments like Sunday’s last-minute chaos make all of the quiet car journeys home following yet another inept, depressing defeat under Bruce / McLaren / Pardew (delete as applicable), worthwhile.

Days like Sunday – in the bank holiday sun, amongst smiling, singing, drunken Mags in a celebratory mood – are exactly why we do it.

Anyway, onto Palace on Wednesday night where hopefully we will do it all again…

As we approached this run of home games having just lost three on the spin away from home, I’d likely have taken 4 points – Wolves chasing 4th, Leicester chasing Europe and Palace under Viera were 3 eminently difficult fixtures even if we had Wilson, Trippier and Fraser available to us.

Now however, I’m getting greedy – I want, and would even go as far to say I expect3 points on Wednesday night.

Why? Because we will be up against a Palace side recently on the wrong end of an FA Cup semi-final defeat and with literally nothing to play for, and this version of Newcastle UNITED, under Eddie Howe, with Wor Flags waving and a full St James’ Park behind them, should fear no-one.

Until late 2021, teams rocked up to NE1 safe in the knowledge that they would encounter a team willing to have their bellies tickled and a fanbase so disenfranchised you could hear conversations between the dugout and the fourth official.

No more.

Now they (Palace) will come up against a team that has a plan, is hard to breakdown and is confident in both its own and it’s managers capabilities. More importantly however, they will be confronted withtotal and utter unity both on and off the pitch, and teams – however well they may or may not be performing – will no longer be looking at their annual visit to St James’ as an opportunity for them to regain form, confidence and topick up3 easy points.

St James Park, the old girl that sits proudly atop of the hill, is once again becoming the fortress that she should be again.

Into em’. 

Lee Forster @LeeDForster