Crystal Palace 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • January 17, 2017 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/35368

Christian Benteke came off the bench to score twice, as Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Bolton 2-1 in an FA Cup third-round replay at Selhurst Park.

With the prospect of a home tie with Manchester City awaiting the winners in round four, it was Wanderers who took the lead when James Henry pounced on a knockdown from Gary Madine three minutes into the second-half to fire past Julian Speroni in the Palace goal.

Eagles boss Sam Allardyce made a triple substitution shortly after the hour and it was one of the players he introduced that swung the game in his side's favour, as Benteke struck in both the 68th and 77th minutes to complete the turnaround and secure victory for the Premier League outfit.

Despite tasting defeat at the hands of Swindon Town on Saturday, Phil Parkinson opted to stick with the same team that started that game as he looked to mastermind a shock in the capital.

After a minute's applause was held for the late Graham Taylor and the action got underway, it was the visitors who created the first opportunity as Madine came within inches of making the required contact as he looked to get on the end of a Henry cross.

Palace's first shooting chance arrived with 10 minutes played, as Lee Chung-Yong's cross picked out Sullay Kaikai, whose volley at goal failed to trouble Ben Alnwick.

Josh Vela came agonisingly close to settling the original tie with a header that crashed back off the post at Macron Stadium and he came within inches of scoring once again, this time racing on to a flick from Zach Clough before drilling just wide of Speroni's goal.

Kaikai was next to set his sights on goal for the hosts, only to be denied by a last-ditch challenge from Lawrie Wilson, shortly before Andrew Taylor produced an outstanding tackle of his own to halt Chung-Yong in his tracks.

David Wheater was the unlikely goalscorer in Bolton's last game and he came close to repeating that at the midway point of the half, but his volley from a Jay Spearing corner flew harmlessly over the crossbar as the game remained goalless.

Palace then began to dominate possession and came close just before the half-hour when Kaikai curled just wide from a free-kick, shortly before Joe Ledley was shown the first yellow card of the evening for bundling home from a corner with his arm.

Alnwick was forced into a superb reaction stop as the half entered it's final 10 minutes, keeping out a Martin Kelly header from close range, while Andros Townsend brought the Wanderers goalkeeper into another comfortable stop late in the half, as the sides went in at the break level at 0-0.

There were no changes to either side as the players emerged for the start of the second period, which began in the best possible fashion for the visitors as Henry, who missed a whole host of chances in the original tie, finally broke the deadlock.

Latching on to a knockdown from Madine, Henry looped the ball up towards the far post, over Speroni and into the net to send 980 travelling Bolton supporters wild, as they dared to dream about a fourth-round tie at home to Manchester City.

For a spell, that dream looked as though it could turn into a reality, until Palace made a triple change just after the hour - bringing Benteke, James Tomkins and Jason Puncheon on in place of Loic Remy, Damien Delaney and Ledley.

The changes had the desired effect for Allardyce's side, who were level at the midway point of the half as Mathieu Flamini's cross to the far post was headed home by Benteke to bring the game level at 1-1.

Undeterred by that setback, Bolton immediately went in search of a goal that would put them back in front and it almost arrived within two minutes, as a thunderous volley from Vela flashed across the face of goal and agonisingly wide of the far post.

Hopes began to fade on 77 minute, however, as Benteke completed the Palace turnaround, bringing down a cross from Townsend before firing hard past Alnwick for his 10th of the campaign, giving the hosts a 2-1 lead.

Wanderers responded by bringing Jamie Proctor on for Madine and should have been level almost instantaneously, but Clough failed to direct his close-range effort on target after Wilson had stolen in behind the Palace defence.

Clough almost made amends for his miss from the next attack, only to see his goalbound strike deflect behind off Tomkins, but it was to be the final attack of the game as Palace saw out time to secure their progression into round four with Allardyce's first win since succeeding Alan Pardew.

Bolton's FA Cup dream may have come to an end, but focus will now return to League One action and their bid for promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking.

Parkinson's side are in action again on Saturday, when they travel to Southend United - managed by former Trotters player, coach and assistant manager, Phil Brown.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Kelly, Delaney (Tomkins 62), Fryers, Chung-Yong, Flamini, Ledley (Puncheon 63), Townsend, Remy (Benteke 62), Kaikai
Subs Not Used: Hennessey, Cabaye, Husin, Phillips
Booked: Ledley
Goals: Benteke 68,77

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Wilson, Thorpe, Spearing, Henry (C Taylor 89), Vela, Clough (Clayton 88), Madine (Proctor 78)
Subs Not Used: Turner, Moxey, Osede, Trotter
Booked: Thorpe, Wilson
Goals: Henry 48

Referee: Stuart Attwell
Attendance: 7,149

Football betting site Betway

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
9.27% Joe Williams
5.33% Jason Lowe
4.13% Sammy Ameobi
2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone