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Crystal Palace fans can't wait for Wembley date

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CRYSTAL Palace fans have described their play-off humiliation of Brighton as being "up there" with beating Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final in 1990.

The Eagles beat the Seagulls 2-0 on Monday, to win the tie by the same score on aggregate and secure a place in the Wembley final against Watford.

Manchester United-bound Wilfried Zaha scored both goals to send the 2,000 travelling fans into raptures.

And while not everyone was lucky enough to secure a seat at the Amex stadium, fans buying final tickets at Selhurst Park on Tuesday were still on a massive high.

Phil Barclay, 65, has supported the club since 1963 and said this could give him the best 50th anniversary as a Palace fan possible.

The South Norwood resident, who broke out into chants of "Hark now hear the Palace sing" while the Advertiser spoke to him, said: "What sweet revenge that was for the other game at Brighton earlier in the season.

"We lost 3-0 and were devastated and now we are off to WEMBERRLLEYY! That was up there with when we beat Liverpool 4-3 at Villa Park."

Ian Holloway's side put in a fine display against Gus Poyet's pre-match favourites, and fans young and old were celebrating.

Luke Cooper, 15, who was buying an away shirt with his 13-year-old brother Robert, said: "They hit the bar and made Julian Speroni make a brilliant save. We were jumping around everywhere."

Andrew Willatt, 24, added: "I still can't believe we played that well. It was probably as good as I have ever seen us play.

"It was the perfect away performance."

Palace co-chairman Steve Browett, who admitted he lost his voice after the match, said he was surprised at how far the club had come in such a short space of time.

He said: "I woke up this morning and couldn't speak – we didn't get back until about 3am.

"It was such a fantastic occasion for the fans. Tickets went on sale for Wembley this morning [Tuesday] and we have already sold 11,000. I am sure we will bring an even better atmosphere to Wembley.

"I think we've got a great chance. I'm not saying we are going to beat Watford by any means but Brighton away is a very tough place to go and win.

"We need to make sure we play at the same level of intensity."

Turn to the sport section for a full match report and reaction to the Brighton victory. Also, buy next week's Advertiser for a Wembley souvenir special, as we look ahead to the big day.

Crystal Palace fans can't wait for Wembley date


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