The table-topping Development side continued their good run with a big win over bottom-placed Bristol City on Monday afternoon.
After a quiet start, a flying breakaway from Palace on 17 minutes saw Jason Lokilo latch on to a deflected pass, charge at the Bristol backline and cut a perfectly weighted reverse ball into the path of Sullay Kaikai. He, in turn, fizzed a cross low in to Freddie Ladapo’s feet only for the striker to see his powerful drive blocked behind for a Palace corner.
Lokilo had a chance to break the deadlock with half an hour played, when a driving run from Aaron Wan-Bissaka resulted in Levi Lumeka getting in behind down the left. His cross into Lokilo was controlled coolly to sidestep the defender, but his effort was parried away from danger by the goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay. A minute later Ladapo saw a header caught from close range as Palace pushed for the opener.
It was Lumeka who eventually broke Bristol’s resolve, reading a ball over the top well to beat the offside trap, sprint clear on goal and slot coolly into the bottom corner on 32 minutes.
Palace started the second half strongly and Lumeka had a second five minutes after the restart. A nice passing move involving several players then saw Kaikai surge forward into space before finding Lumeka out wide. The Eagles’ no. 11 cut inside on to his right foot before burying the ball in the top left corner.
The home side remained in control and added a third on 62 minutes following another flying counter attack. Lumeka fed the overlapping Pape Souare in down the left following the full-back’s 60 yard sprint to join the wide man. Souare’s first time cross was inch-perfect and Ladapo was on hand to power a header in at the backpost.
Ladapo had a second with just under 15 minutes still to play. Kaikai was involved again, releasing the striker through on goal with a lovely pass, and Ladapo made no mistake, ramming the ball low into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
Palace: Henry; Wan-Bissaka, Phillips, Brown, Souare; McGregor, Kirby (Flanagan, 67); Lumeka, Kaikai, Lokilo (Robertson, 77); Ladapo (Oddy, 88).
Subs: Tupper, Mitchell.
Bristol City: Sesay; Turner-Williams, Ali, Morton, Parsons, Spark, Akpobire, Richards, Semenyo, Andrews, Holden.
Subs: Rees, Robertson, Allen, Smith.