Palace U23s rediscovered their winning form as they beat a strong Newcastle United side 3-0 in an impressive display in south London.
- A fast start from Palace forces two fantastic saves from the Newcastle goalkeeper in the opening three minutes.
- James McCarthy fires in the opening goal from a Sam Woods knock down.
- Tyrick Mitchell and Brandon Pierrick’s combinations cause Newcastle problems, with Perrick going close.
- Scott Banks withdrawn with injury before half-time.
- HT: Palace 1-0 Newcastle United
- Rob Street doubles Palace’s lead from a Sion Spence cross.
- Jairo Riedewald’s effort is blocked on the line.
- Spence scores Palace's third from close range.
- FT: Palace 3-0 Newcastle United
Palace made a fast start and had several early chances to take the lead, denied only by some excellent work from Newcastle goalkeeper Will Brown.
Street went close in the second minute, but Brown stood tall to push his shot away. Minutes later Spence thought he’d made it 1-0, only for Brown to get down to claw his effort off the line.
Palace were causing real problems, and twice James Taylor was left unmarked on the edge of the box from a corner; twice his long-range effort gave the visitors a scare.
Newcastle had been warned, and unsurprisingly it was a set-piece that was their undoing. Woods met Banks’ free-kick at the far post, and his header fell for McCarthy, who fired a sweetly-struck volley goalwards.
A significant deflection off one of the cluster of bodies in the box saw it settle in the bottom corner; even after his early heroics, Brown had no chance in the Newcastle goal.
Palace remained on top for much of the first half, with Pierrick and Mitchell’s combinations causing real problems for the three-man Newcastle defence.
It was very nearly this duo that doubled Palace’s lead, as Mitchell’s pull-back found Pierrick on the edge of the penalty area. Feinting one way and then the next, his shot was arrowing into the bottom corner before Brown pushed it away.
Palace suffered a blow after half an hour, as top scorer Banks was forced to withdraw through injury; Alfie Matthews replaced him.
Helped by the composure and experience of McCarthy in midfield and James Tomkins on the bench, Palace restricted Newcastle to very few forays into the final third and went in at the break perhaps rueful that their lead was only one goal.
The visitors came out for the second-half a far sharper side, pressing high and dominating the ball – but soon Palace were finding space in behind.
Pierrick brought down a superb cross from Spence, but was crowded out before he could get a shot away. Moments later Spence decided to do it himself, gliding through several Newcastle defenders before his effort was blocked.
Nonetheless, it was suddenly a more even contest, with Woods blocking well from Sam Flaherty, before Palace broke forward with Spence, whose shot was forced behind.
From the resulting corner, Palace doubled their lead. After his initial effort was cleared, Spence lofted an inch-perfect cross to Rob Street at the far post, who nodded home for his fourth goal of the season.
It was almost three moments later and it was a beautiful move, a short corner being worked into the six-yard box before the final effort was blocked on the line.
With 10 minutes remaining, Palace made it three goals - and made certain the three points. Breaking forwards quickly with Newcastle bodies stranded upfield, Matthews found space at the far post. Instead of shooting from the tight angle, he showed great composure to roll it across for Spence, whose performance merited the goal.
It's a welcome return to winning ways for the Eagles after a tricky recent spell, and means they can head into the winter break with confidence running high.
Palace: Webber; Taylor, Tomkins, Woods, Mitchell; McCarthy, Riedewald; Banks (Matthews, 35), Spence (M. Boateng, 86), Pierrick; Street.
Subs not used: Jacob Russell, Watson, Jude Russell.
Newcastle Utd: Brown, Barrett, McEntee (Carlyon, 70), Francillette, Cross, Scott, Rounsfell, White, Flaherty (Indalecio, 84), Vilca (Midgley, 84), Toure.
Subs not used: Thompson, Harrison.