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Rakip Strikes & Jach Features In Under 23's Win


Palace cemented their place at the top of the Professional Development League as they beat their south London rivals Charlton Athletic 2-1 at Copers Cope.

Palace’s first real chance came in the sixth minute. It was a lovely move involving the majority of the team and it ended with the ball falling to Levi Lumeka on the edge of the box but he fired over. 

Palace threatened again shortly after. Nya Kirby released Lumeka down the left wing with a fantastic diagonal pass but nobody was in the box to meet the wingers cross.

James Daly who was full of energy all match won the ball back with some great pressing and Palace were released on a counter attack in which they won a corner.

From the resulting corner Palace broke the deadlock in the 12th minute. The ball was nodded on at the front post and Lumeka was free to tap in from close range. 

It was from this point that Palace really took control of the game. Daly set Lumeka free down the left-hand side and his cross was headed towards goal, but the effort was taken comfortably by Maynard-Brewer in the Charlton goal.

Jarek Jach, playing his first game in red and blue, had the next Palace chance. He drove out of defence, and rode a tackle before he got a shot on goal but his effort was deflected and the keeper made an easy save.

One of the other Eagles new January signings also made an appearance in the fixture. Erdal Rakip, on loan from Benfica, was also looking to impress as he took up a starting place in the midfield.

And it was Rakip who got the Eagles next goal as they doubled their lead on 29 minutes. Some neat play on the edge of the box ended with Rakip and he fired in to the bottom left hand corner. 

That was the last of the notable action in first half as Palace dominated throughout the opening 45.

Charlton had their first real chance of the game in the 47th minute. Henry denied the Anderson when he was through one on one. 

The game became tight as Charlton looked to get back into the game and Palace protected their lead. On 60 minutes, Gio McGregor slipped through Michael Phillips but his shot flashed just past the far post.

Lumeka, who was dangerous all match, threatened again with 70 minutes on the clock. He took on his man and put in a dangerous cross across, that was too far ahead of the outstretching Daly.

Charlton ensured the last 20 minutes were slightly nervy for the home side. They pulled a goal back on 72 minutes. A free kick was played deep into the Palace penalty area and Lewis Page headed it back across goal for Ryan Blumberg to smash home.

The visitors had a chance to level the game but Henry made a great save from close range to stop the visitors getting an undeserved point.

Charlton were pressing for the equaliser until the end of stoppage time. A deep free kick was headed goal wards but it was collected easily by Henry in what was the last real chance of the match.

Palace: Henry, Wan-Bissaka, Brown, McGregor, Woods, Jach, Brydges, Rakip (Flanagan 78), Kirby (Phillips 63), Lumeka, Daly

Subs: O’Dwyer, Tupper, Robertson.

Charlton: Maynard-Brewer, Bowry, Page (Willis 69), Morgan, Cummings, Aribo (Doughty 69), Umerah, Anderson, Djiksteel, Yamfam

Subs: Yao, Ochieng, Harvey.