As the dust settles on what was a true roller-coaster of an FA Cup Final at Wembley yesterday afternoon, we can at least reflect on two and half minutes of unadulterated joy, thanks to Jason Puncheon.
The subsequent United equaliser did of course take the wind completely out of our collective sails, but for those few precious moments, we as supporters were in sheer ecstasy as a consequence of Croydon boy’s actions.
After a looped pass towards the left-hand side of the penalty area from Joel Ward, Puncheon took a touch to control the bouncing ball, before firing a venemous volley past David De Gea, sending the packed Palace end behind the goal into raptures.
His face, and those of the players who mobbed him in the immediate aftermath of the goal said it all, with beaming smiles and wide eyes lapping up every second of the wild celebrations all around them.
I obviously can’t speak for everyone else, but on a personal level, I can safely say that I have never celebrated a goal as uncontrollably as I did yesterday evening. Social media is awash with people who have happily admitted to shedding a tear in the seconds that followed the ball hitting the back of the net; an emotion that I too went through, simply because of the potential enormity of such a strike.
Whilst we did of course go on to lose the game, those two minutes provoked a feeling inside me and I’m sure many others, that I genuinely don’t believe I’ve experienced before.
For a few brief moments, it was beautiful.