Crystal Palace secured their FA Cup fourth round tie with Manchester City at the second time of asking, with a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers.
It was an even opening for both sides, with good opportunities for Sullay Kaikai, Josh Vela, David Wheater and Martin Kelly but it remained goalless in the opening 45 minute not for a lack of trying.
James Henry ignited a potential giant killing with his 47th minute opener, but substitute Christian Benteke brought things level in the 68th minute and managed to score the winner nine minutes later. Zach Clough had one final opportunity, but couldn't prevent Palace passing into the fourth round.
Bright start from both sides
Palace and Bolton could have done without a replay after their bore draw at the Macron Stadium, but both sides started this match brightly.
Kaikai was looking to impress Sam Allardyce with his first start for the Eagles, and he certainly came close in the ninth minute. The youngster did well to connect with the cross in from Chung-Yong Lee, but failed to direct it towards Ben Alnwick’s goal going well wide of the mark.
Phil Parkinson’s side were certainly the underdogs in this clash, but they gave their Premier League counterparts something to worry about in the 11th minute. A good build-up in play ended up at the feet of Vela, the midfielder decided to try one from the edge of the area which goes inches wide of the top corner.
Palace asserted themselves on the game in the opening proceedings, but Bolton weren’t willing to roll over that easily with another chance in the 23rd minute. The ball from the corner fell to Wheater in the area with the former Middlesbrough man having a heap of time, but he managed to cannon the ball over the crossbar.
Cranking up the pressure
Kaikai was having an impressive debut, and lack any fear when he decided to stand over a dangerous free-kick before the half-hour mark. It was audacious aiming for the top corner, and almost paid off but it was just wide of the mark.
The majority of the 7,149 inside Selhurst Park were up off their seats as Joe Ledley had the ball in the back of the net, but the Welshman was booked for handling past Alnwick.
The best chance of the half arrived in the 32nd minute, as Kelly met Andros Townsend’s cross at the back post but Alnwick somehow managed to keep his effort out.
Bringing on the upset
Both sides came out for the second period looking chirpy as both looked to inch themselves ahead, and many wont have expected for the visitors to take the lead two minutes after the restart.
When Henry finds the back of net it is something special and it was no different on this occasion, the midfielder decided to have a go and he did brilliantly to curl into the top corner giving Julian Speroni no chance.
Little action happened after the opening goal, but the Eagles managed to bring themselves level in the 68th minute. Allardyce decided to make a triple substitution and it paid off, as Benteke rose highest to power home Mathieu Flamini’s cross.
Bolton almost found themselves ahead once again moments later, when he smashed a volley towards goal which went narrowly wide of speroni’s post.
What a turnaround
After getting themselves back into the game Palace went looking for what would potentially be a winner, and they managed to take the lead in some spectacular style. Benteke had an instantaneous impact was a it again as he did brilliantly to bring down Townsend’s cross, before hitting it past Alnwick with his second touch to turn the tie on it’s head.
The visitors should have got themselves back into the clash with ten minutes to play, as the ball comes to Clough who hits it across goal but it was agonisingly wide of the mark.