It had been 799 days since he last celebrated scoring a goal but on Sunday afternoon at Selhurst Park, Connor Wickham opened the scoring against Tottenham and set Palace on their way to a massive FA Cup victory.
Given a start at the head of the side in place of the rested Jordan Ayew, the 25-year-old didn’t disappoint, working hard for the side throughout his time on the pitch, scoring the first and creating enough doubt in the mind of his covering defender to draw a handball for the penalty which led to the second Palace goal of the day.
— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 27, 2019
Despite a scare when Patrick van Aanholt gave away a penalty of his own just before the break, (which Trippier put wide) Palace ran out 2-0 winners, defending resolutely throughout the second 45 and ensuring their place in the last 16.
Wickham’s goal may not have been a thing of beauty, (he kneed it home from all of a yard) but given the gap in between this and his last strike, it was a moment of huge emotional significance. In truth, huge credit must go to Jeffrey Schlupp, whose drive into the box and subsequent shot set Wickham up for a simple tap in but after playing almost a full season without a striker to follow in chances like that, the sight of Wickham holding his run before following the ball in was a joy to behold.
He’ll be under no illusions about the size of the task still facing him in the quest for regular Premier League starts but after such a lengthy period on the sidelines wondering if he’d ever taste that scoring feeling again, yesterday must have felt so sweet.
Let’s hope this is just the start for the big man.