Two goals from Wilfried Zaha proved the difference for Crystal Palace as they beat Crawley Town 2-0 at Selhurst Park in the Carling Cup.
Things could have been different though for Palace if not for the upright within the opening minutes of the second half. Tyrone Barnet's shot from the right of the bar cannoned off of the inside of the post, with a lot of the Crawley fans thinking it was heading for the back of the net.
Jon Williams turned creator when he cut inside from the right wing and jinked his way past two Crawley defenders. With Zaha to his left he quickly dispatched the ball to his former Academy team-mate and Zaha struck the ball past the keeper into the bottom right corner.
Jon Williams was again involved in Palace second when he was cynically taken down on the right wing on the 57th minute. Ambrose again delivered a quality ball into the box for Davies to nod across the face of goal to Zaha who promptly smashed home a half-volley from close range, increasing the Eagles lead to two.
Palace continued to go forward with a lot of intent and Williams was again instrumental. This time the Wales U21 player picked up the ball in his own half and ran 50 yards before clipping a ball across to Ambrose in the box, the number seven shifted the ball onto his right foot and his shot was blocked by the Crawley defender.
Crawley's second attempt of the evening saw Scott Neilsen flying through the air with a volley after a cross from the right, however, it went well wide of the goal.
However, in the first half, it was Crawley who started the brighter outfit when Sergio Torres was the first player to register a shot on target on the seventh minute when a break down the right saw him collect the ball and break into the box. With a swarm of bodies around him he hit a right footed shot which took a deflection off Andrew Davies, forcing Lewis Price to dive to his right and parry the ball out for a corner.
Crawley's Dean Howell came close to finding the net in bizarre fashion when his cross from just inside the Palace half nearly lobbed Price, however, and thankfully it went just wide of the upright.
On the 15th minute Palace won a free kick 35 yards from goal. Darren Ambrose stepped up to take the kick and hit the ball to the back post to Davies whose header across the face of goal was nearly converted from on-loan QPR defender Peter Ramage.
Crawley left back Dean Howell was again causing all sorts of problems with a delicious cross to the back post which was headed across goal, the ball was cleared but only to the edge of the box and Hope Akpan see's his shot saved by Price on the line and cleared by Dorman for another corner.
A long-throw into the box nearly proved fruitful for Palace when Zaha broke on the counter attack following a clearance.However, Zaha went a bit to wide and is dispossed by the Crawley defender who hits it out for a throw-in.
Just before the half-hour mark Ambrose could have given the Eagles the lead after Scott Shearer hashed clearance finds Andrews head. The striker promptly headed the ball into Ambrose's path who controlled the ball before hitting it to the bottom right corner. Shearer made up for his mistake by getting his finger tips to it and turned it round the post for a corner.
Calvin Andrew, making his first start of the season for the season showed good pace on the 35th minute when he chested the ball down and ran towards the goal. Holding his marker off he managed to get a shot off on target but unable to beat Shearer.
On the brink of half-time Matt Tubbs received the ball on the edge of the box and managed to get a half a yard, but his scuffed shot forced Price to the ground and his parried save is hacked away by Ramage.
Despite a good first 45 minutes from Crawley it was Palace who grabbed the goals and ensured their passage through to the next round, where they will face Wigan at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace : Price, Moxey, Ramage, Davis. Parsons, O'Keefe, Williams. Ambrose (capt), Zaha, Andrew, Dorman.
Subs: Speroni, Cadogan, Murray, Parr, McCarthy, Wright, Easter.
Crawley Town : Shearer, Davies,Howell, McFadzean, Akpan, Torres, Tubbs, Simpson, Hunt, Wassmer, Barnett.
Subs: Kuipers. Thomas, Smith, Doughty, Wilson, Akinde, Neilson.