7 goals, 4 penalties, full match report
It was a game you had to be there for as Palace's latest pre-season friendly saw them remain unbeaten and come away 4-3 winners in a game with 7 goals, 4 penalties and 2 dis-allowed strikes.
Before going any further it should be pointed out that probably all the penalties were actually the right decision - and both goals certainly should have been disallowed (one for Jose Fonte leaning on a defender and the other due to a Shots player punching the ball in the net from a cross, although one or two of the home sides fans appeared not to be paying attention to that one from their complaints).
Of interest to attending Palace fans were two trialists. First was young forward Simon Thomas, tall and of the Jay
Bothroyd type stature, until now recently he had been plying his trade in non-league with Borehamwood. The other
was striker Calvin Andrew, who Palace are keen to capture from Luton Town (and who in fact did sign two days later).
Palace started quickly out of the traps and on 9 minutes Sean Scannell turned two defenders on the right before
putting a cross/shot in on target that was sliced off the line and over the bar by an Aldershot player. From the corner on the left Fonte rose high to head home, but it was correctly disallowed as described above.
Dougie Freedman then had a good chance on 16, as the home side were unable to get out of their half in the early stages.
Making a run into the box on the left he was setup by Nick Carle's forward pass, and only goalkeeper Nicky Bull coming
out and claiming the ball from his boot, stopped him from scoring.
Then on 19 came the other disallowed goal, as a cross from the left was met by Aldershot's Hylton and his outstretched
arm to punch the ball into the Palace net.
Despite all the early play being in the home sides half, the Shots then took the lead through a Palace mistake on 25 minutes.
A long ball into the Palace half had Paddy McCarthy caught in two minds as he ran towards his goal, with one eye on the ball and one on Aldershot's Grant who was behind him. Attempting to head the ball back to Speroni, his attempt fell short and he then slipped on the pitch allowing Grant to get past him and score a low shot past the stranded Palace 'keeper into the bottom left corner of the net.
Two minutes later and Palace hit the bar through Fonte's header from a left sided corner (although another foul was given to the home side), and then 8 minutes after that Nick Carle twisted his marker on the right and had a shot deflected over the bar.
With 9 minutes left in the half, Palace pulled it back to 1 each. Nick Carle was again the provider with a low pass, this time forward to Fonte, who was in the unusual position of having made a forward run into the box. The Palace defender was felled with a trip on the left side of the box and Dougie Freedman stepped up to place his penalty in the top left corner of the net, sending the 'keeper the wrong way.
A neat Freedman/Thomas one two then saw Freedman shoot just wide with 4 minutes on the clock, and with 2 minutes remaining, the Eagles took a 2-1 lead.
Another tidy setup from Nick Carle saw Simon Thomas unmarked from around 8 yards or so and he swept the ball into the left hand side of the net. The last effort of the half saw Freedman turn two of the Aldershot back line before shooting low at the 'keeper with only a minute left.
Palace made the usual flurry of half time substitutions and it was one of these that lead to the penalty on 51 minutes in the Shots favour as Aaron Dalhouse tripped Aldershot's Morgan as he made a forward run in the area towards the byeline. The same player dusted himself down and scored off the right hand post, just beating Julian Speroni's outstretched hand to level the score.
In response, Carle then hit a shot at the 'keeper from the edge of the area minutes later, and in the 65th minute substitute Keiran Dijali cut in from the right and shot over the bar.
Aldershot were then awarded a 2nd penalty on 67 minutes just after taking a corner on the right. It looked as though Johannes Ertl may have had hold of someone's shirt as the ball arrived at the far post, and the resulting spot kick was then scored this time by Morgan to give Aldershot a 3-2 lead.
Palace went close just 3 minutes after though. Jamie Smith cut in from the right wing, and from about 5 yards outside of the box let fly with a right footed shot that rebounded back off the crossbar. From the resumption of play he went close again, this time with a drive straight into substitute 'keeper Ruiz's arms from about 20 yards distance.
Striker Calvin Andrew tried his luck next. This time a corner from the right was headed just over from his jump. Only a minute or so later though and Palace did make it 3-3. Nick Carle flicked the ball cleverly over the static Aldershot defence and James Dayton kept his awareness about him to continue his short run behind them (staying onside despite their disputes), and strike the ball past the goalie from 6-7 yards for the equaliser.
With around 12 minutes remaining Aldershot re-doubled their efforts and tried again. Following a driving run on the right, Morgan hit a shot toward the Palace goal that was hacked away from near the goal line by Danny Butterfield.
The very last chance of the game came to Palace, as they won yet another penalty in the 84th minute that sealed the 4-3 victory.
A surging run on the right into the area by Palace sub Hakeem Adelakun was halted by Shots 'keeper Ruiz who came flying off of his line to send the Palace youngster several feet into the air. The ref gave the penalty straight away (the game's 4th) and after a minute or so when both players had picked themselves up, Jamie Smith emerged to step up confidently and dispatch a low left strike into the goal for the winner.
Of the two new players, from one friendly half each against lower league opponents, not too many conclusions can be made.
Simon Thomas started very quietly, but once involved in the latter part of the first half showed that he could link up well with both Freedman and Carle. Second half sub Calvin Andrew looked ok in the air winning a number of headers, but didn't see enough of the ball at his feet to judge much.
Certainly not a match for the feint hearted, and entertainment all round, which of course you don't always get in a pre-season match. Palace now of course head to Neil Warnock territory to continue their pre-season in the West country.
Palace Team: Speroni, Butterfield, McCarthy, Fonte, Hill, Scannell, Derry (c), Fletcher, Carle, Thomas, Freedman
Subs: Flahavan, Andrew (For Thomas '46), Comley (For Derry '64), Ifill, Ertl (For McCarthy '46), Watson, Djilai (For Scannell '64), Smith (For Fletcher '61), Dalhouse (For Fonte '46), Wiggins (For Hill '46), Bingham (For Butterfield '85), Dayton (For Freedman '46), Adelakun (For Carle '82)
Palace Shots/Headers: 14 (7 on target)
Aldershot Shots/Headers: 6 (5 on target)
Palace Corners: 5
Aldershot Corners: 2
Palace Crosses: 11 (6 from left / 5 from right)
(Wiggins 3, Scannell 2, Carle 1, Fletcher 1, Butterfield 1, Dayton 1, Smith 1, Comley 1)
Aldershot Crosses: 9
Scorers: Freedman (pen), Thomas, Dayton, Smith (pen)
Posted by alan