Reserves kick off their campaign with a victory.
Palace Reserves saw off Isthmian Premeir League side Dartford at their Princes Park home, this evening.
Two Second half goals from James Dayton and James Comley undid the Darts, who put up a spirited challenge.
The fun started before kick off when the PA announcer clearly was the victim of a practical joke. Announcing a Palace line-up that contained 1. N.Martin, 3. K.Sansom, 7. A.Plum and 12. C.Lion, amongst the real names. Also some of those names as subs, ended up starting so confusion reigned all 'round.
From the sidelines, it looked as if Palace had two trialists on show, a centre-half who played most of the game and a central midfielder who came on at half time. Theit were a couple of subs from the Academy who came on late and it was difficult to pin down exactly who they were. There was no mistaking the number 18 however, Shefki Kuqi, on from the start.
The first half was goalless and fairly soulless. Palace dominated the early stages without troubling the Darts keeper and had a series of corners on 16 minutes. Billy Bingham lashed a rebound goalwards only to see his shot cannon off a defender for another corner. Moments later Jamie Smith when on a mazy run, playing in Kuqi, who's blcoked shot sat up well for Smith to finish, but he couldn't keep the ball down.
Dartford were restricted to a couple of efforts neither of which really troubled David Wilkinson in the palace goal.
Just before half time, Kuqi saw a strong shot drift just over, but the half never really got going, due in no small part to a very whistle-happy referee.
The second half immediately started brighter as James Dayton went on a run and shot just wide. Eleven minutes later, he went one better with a low daisy-cutter from the edge of the box which slitered past the keeper's outstretched arm and ricocheted off the right post into the other corner of the net.
Dayton was Palace's most creative player until he was substituted on the hour, but Kieron Cadogan quickly stepped up to the plate to tormet the Darts backline. He was particularly unlucky on 75 minutes when a shot on the turn was well held by the Darts Keeper, but his luck ran out 4 minutes later. Cadogan unleashed a blistering drive from 25 yards which the keepr could only parry into the path of Comley, who blasted the rebound into an unguarded net.
In the closing stages, Cadogan skipped around the kepper and pulled the back for Kuqi to finish, his shot unfortunately getting tangled in the back-pedalling keepers' legs.
Dartford for all their effort, managed only one decnt effort which Wilkinson did very well with and a couple of damgerous goalmouth scrambles in the second half, but nothing of any real note, on balance, Palace were worthy winners.
So, a solid, if unspectacular start, to the reserve campaign. Next up, the Errea South Western Cup.
Palace Team: 1.Wilkinson, 2.Clyne, 3.Wiggins, 4.Comley, 5.Dalhouse, 6.Centre-half Trialist, 7.Dijali, 8. Bingham, 10.Smith, 11. Dayton, 18. Kuqi.
Subs: 14.Cadogan (for Smith H/T), 15. Midfield Trialist (for Djiali H/T), 17. Adelakun (for Dayton 60), 18.Abnett (for Bingham 60), Sub Keeper:Thorp (for Wilkinson 70), 16. Pinney (for Wiggins 70), 8. Bingham (rejoined play on 75 minutes when the Centre Midfield Trialist had to retire injured)
Goals: Dayton 56, Comley 78
Referee: I Cooper
Posted by neil