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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:55 21st June 2014


Wilfried Zaha had a dream start to his second stint at Palace by firing home an injury-time equaliser to snatch a point as Neil Warnock's first game back as Eagles manager resulted in a six-goal thriller.

A Mike Williamson goal two minutes from time looked to have given the Magpies all three points, but Zaha found the back of the net in the fifth minute of injury time to grab a share of the spoils. 

Palace were given the perfect start when Dwight Gayle netted his fourth goal in the space of five days within the opening minute, but they were pegged back when Daryl Janmaat equalised 10 minutes before half-time.

But another quick-fire goal after the restart in the form of Jason Puncheon's measured volley restored the visitors' lead, but once again Alan Pardew's side pulled level through substitute Rolando Aarons, and after the late drama a pulsating encounter ended with the points being shared.

Warnock enjoyed the dream start to his second managerial reign when his side took the lead just 40 seconds in. After kicking off, Palace kept possession and Yannick Bolasie found himself in space on the left. He floated a cross towards the back post which was only cleared to Marouane Chamakh, who forced Tim Krul to tip the ball onto the post but Gayle was on hand to drill the ball high into the net to hand his side an incredibly early lead.

With the hosts rattled, Palace continued to look to exploit any counter-attacks, and 10 minutes had elapsed when Puncheon nearly added a second. The winger drifted in from the right and found his fellow wide-man Bolasie, who took on Janmaat and found Puncheon again who narrowly missed the top corner.

In fact it took the Magpies over 25 minutes to have a shot when Moussa Sissoko saw a low effort deflect over the crossbar and then saw a very wayward strike from left-back Massadio Haidara drift well wide of the mark.

However they did go close on 34 minutes when Puncheon was dispossessed by Sissoko and theball made its way through to Siem de Jong via Emmanuel Riviere. The Dutchman casually laid the ball off into the path of the on-rushing Sissoko who had time to get a decent shot away but saw it flash just wide of Julian Speroni's near post.

The pressure was growing on the Eagles and it finally told nine minutes before the interval. Janmaat received the ball in an advanced position and played a give-and-go with Sissoko. The right-back then proceeded to bundle his way into the area and after seeing a snapshot ricochet around the box, it fell kindly for him to scramble past Speroni and draw his side level.

But after half-time it once again didn't take long for Palace to find the net for a second time. Bolasie was found on the left and gave the ball to Puncheon, whose first touch saw the ball spin upwards however he watched it all the way to volley it into the bottom corner and give his side the upper hand two minutes after the restart.

Palace kept probing at Newcastle's left-hand flank and nearly found more joy when Martin Kelly brought the ball forward before cutting inside and unleashing a fierce low shot that forced Krul to push the ball around his post, but Speroni had to remain alert to make his first save by diving low to thwart Yoan Gouffran at close-range.

There was a rapturous welcome from the 1,400 Eagles fans perched high in the St James' Park stands for Zaha when he replaced Gayle with 20 minutes to go, and within minutes he forced Krul into a smart stop when he got past Janmaat.

But seconds later Palace gave away a needless corner after a defensive mix-up, and the ball was flicked on at the near post youngster Aarons was on hand to steer a header into the net to make it 2-2.

Zaha then put the ball on the net after being played in by Puncheon but was adjudged to be offside, and he forced Krul to beat the ball away before lashing the rebound wide with 10 minutes to go.

Aarons was fractions away from a second when he watched a stinging drive from the edge of the box sneak wide of the far upright, but he would create what seemed to be the winner two minutes from time when he showed great skill to carve out a shooting chance, and after hitting the post Williamson was on hand to force the ball over the line.

Seven minutes of injury time were then signalled which gave Warnock's men hope, and in the 95th minute Damien Delaney headed a Mile Jedinak free-kick back across the area where Zaha was waiting to thrash the ball home to secure Palace's first point of the season.

Newcastle United: Krul, Janmaat (Anita 79), Coloccini, Williamson, Haidara, Colback, Sissoko, Cabella, de Jong (Perez 79), Gouffran (Aarons 67), Riviere. Subs not used: Elliot, Dummett, S.Taylor, Obertan.

Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Kelly, Puncheon, Jedinak, Ward, Bolasie (Murray 83), Chamakh (Campbell 52), Gayle (Zaha 70). Subs not used: Hennessey, Hangeland, Bannan, Jonny Williams.