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Report: Bristol City 2-1 Palace

PUBLISHED

21:40 27th August 2013


Crystal Palace bowed out of the Capital One Cup at the first hurdle after going down 2-1 to Bristol City at Ashton Gate. 

Second-half goals from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Scott Wagstaff proved enough for the League One side to secure a morale-boosting upset against the Eagles, despite a stunning late strike from Owen Garvan.

Sean O'Drsicoll's team started the better side, despite not registering a win in their opening four league games, and it took just 65 seconds for them to carve out their first clear-cut chance of the match. Joe Bryan's cleverly-worked corner picked out an unmarked Jay Emmanuel-Thomas on the edge of the Palace box, but his fierce left foot strike was parried clear by Neil Alexander. 

The hosts continued their quick start to the match though and when Marvin Elliott, Scott Wagstaff and Bryan were all involved in a neat passing move on 10 minutes, the latter's cross from the left was inches away from picking out Sam Baldock in the middle.

Ian Holloway's men enjoyed some decent spells of possession of their own during the opening 20 minutes of the game, but struggled to penetrate a well-organised Bristol City defence. And it was the home side who again went close to breaking the deadlock at the other end, when Emmanuel-Thomas did well to shake off Stuart O'Keefe's challenge 30 yards from goal. The former Ipswich man took aim and struck a low right-footed drive which fizzed just wide of Alexander's upright.

It was a sluggish start by the Eagles and almost half an hour had elapsed before they registered their first meaningful attempt on Elliot Parish's goal. Jerome Williams galloped forward from left-back and jinked into the box to win a corner for the visitors. Stephen Dobbie delivered a dangerous in-swinging cross but Elliot Grandin, who was making his first competitive start for the club, could only head over from eight yards out. 

Palace continued to play their passing game in the middle of the park and Dobbie, Jonny Williams and Garvan were all involved in their best move of the first half on 37 minutes. Dobbie eventually found himself in space on the left and his cross was sliced towards his own goal by Aden Flint, but Parish was alert to make his first save of the match and keep the scoresheet blank at the interval. 

Holloway shuffled his pack at half-time, bringing on the evergreen Kevin Phillips in place of Dobbie and switching to a 4-4-2 formation. But it was the youth and exhuberance of 19-year-old Bryan that continued to shine and it was inevitable that he was involved in the opening goal on 58 minutes. 

The winger's ball down the line picked out Emmanuel-Thomas who outpaced Peter Ramage to race onto the searching pass. His cross was cut back behind Baldock, but the former West Ham frontman did well to held the ball up and return it to Emmanuel-Thomas inside the penalty area. He coolly cut inside past Ramage, before smashing a right-footed shot into the far corner out of the reach of Alexander. 

Palace had the chance to claw themselves back into the tie when substitute Kwesi Appiah fired his volley over from a tight angle inside the box, but moments later he was made to pay for that miss when the Robins doubled their advantage at the other end. 

Emmanuel-Thomas was again involved, racing onto a hopeful ball over the top of the Eagles backline. He laid the ball back to Bobby Reid, whose inch-perfect delivery picked out former Charlton Athletic man Wagstaff, who took a touch before finishing with real aplomb in Alexander's bottom right-hand corner. 

The visitors opened up in a bid to get back into the match and Jonny Williams' long-range volley was defelcted just wide, before Appiah's snapshot from the edge of the box was charged down by the Bristol City defence. 

Bristol City substitute Marlon Harewood then came close to putting the result beyond doubt, when he drilled Wagstaff's neat lay-off goalwards, only to be superbly denied by Alexander. 

His opposite number Parish then had to be on his toes at the other end as Palace registered their first shot on target with seven minutes left on the clock. Jonny Williams teed up De Silva on the edge of the box and the youngster's effort was well gathered by Parish after it bounced awkwardly just in front of him.

Palace got on the scoresheet in stoppage time when Garvan rifled home a dipping left-footed volley from the edge of the D after the ball fell kindly for him, but it was too little for the visitors who exited the competition at the 2nd round stage for the second successive season.

Bristol City: Parish, Moloney, Derrick Williams (Fontaine, 74), Flint, Cunningham, Wagstaff, Reid, Elliott, Bryan (Pack, 62), Emmanuel-Thomas, Baldock (Harewood 72).

Unused subs: Fielding, Jordan Wynter, Wilson, Burns. 

Palace: Alexander, Alex Wynter (De Silva, 68), Ramage, Marange, Jerome Williams, O'Keefe, Grandin, Garvan, Jonny Williams, Dobbie (Phillips, 46), Wilbraham (Appiah, 55).

Unused subs: Fitzsimons, Parsons, Taylor, Boateng, De Silva.