Karl Darlow is hoping his moment of inspiration will be remembered as the one which secures Newcastle’s Premier League status.
The 25-year-old’s 70th-minute penalty save from former Magpie Yohan Cabaye helped to secure a priceless 1-0 victory over the Eagles, lifting Rafael Benitez’s side out of the bottom three for the first time since February 13.
With two games remaining – rivals Sunderland and Norwich both have three – there are sure to be further twists and turns, but Darlow, who is only in the team because of season-ending knee injuries to Tim Krul and Rob Elliot, knows just how important Saturday’s events at St James’ Park could prove to be.
Asked if the penalty save was the best moment of his career to date, he told nufcTV: “Hopefully it will be. If it saves us from relegation, then of course it’s going to be a big moment for this club.
“I just hope it can prove to be a moment that will be remembered and hopefully we can get out of this mess that we have got ourselves into.”
Newcastle knew they simply had to win if they were to stand any chance of getting themselves out of trouble and the hosts took a 58th-minute lead in spectacular style.
Defender Scott Dann, who had been sick on the pitch just before the restart, sent Andros Townsend tumbling 20 yards out and the Â£12million January signing dusted himself down before sending a swerving, dipping free-kick across keeper Wayne Hennessey and inside the far post.
It was the England internationals fourth goal in 11 appearances for the club and secured a crucial three points for the Magpies.