Richard Shaw’s Under-23 side comfortably defeated a strong Bristol City away on Monday night with a Levi Lumeka brace sealing the win for the Eagles.
Facing a well-stocked City side, Palace found themselves battling in a close-fought game for the first spell of play.
However the Eagles’ dominance was clear with three close chances all excellently saved by the home side’s ‘keeper, Max O’Leary. The first of the barrage came when TQ Addy almost edged the ball over the line only for the opposing shot-stopper to claw it away from reaching the net.
Addy then found himself facing goal again only to be denied by O’Leary’s feet. When Levi Lumeka attempted to finally clinch the lead, once again it was the Bristol ‘keeper there to prevent him, tipping a stinging shot over the bar.
City had their share of the chances but ultimately created nothing that would greatly trouble Palace ‘keeper Joe Tupper and the shot-stopper enjoyed a fairly quiet night.
The breakthrough came when Lumeka found the ball at his feet in the box following Addy’s work to maintain Palace possession. His resulting goal broke the deadlock and kept Palace ahead for the remainder of the game.
Going into the second half, the game settled down somewhat and both sides found themselves cautious to test one another following the first half’s threats.
A triple substitution from Bristol attempted to reverse the Robins’ fortune but, despite some well-worked chances, failed to level the game with Chris Turner-Williams missing the goal from a half-volley.
Palace doubled their lead and Lumeka took his second of the night after Kian Flanagan slotted a through-ball into Lumeka’s path for the 20-year-old to slot the ball home low to the ‘keeper’s left.
This sealed the game and secured an impressive win for Shaw’s Palace side.
Palace: Tupper, Tavares, Mitchell, Boateng, O’Dwyer, Woods, Robertson, Flanagan, Pierrick, Addy, Lumeka. Subs: Brown, Webber, Boateng, Chamberlin-Gayle, Aveiro.