Crystal Palace remain unbeaten during pre-season thanks to a 1-0 victory over League Two Colchester United at the Colchester Community Stadium on Monday night.
The away side looked comfortable for the majority of the match, despite a couple of opportunities for the home side, who were playing their seventh game their pre-season. The win was sealed thanks to a delightful chip from midfielder Jordon Mutch.
Four in a row
After a win and two draws during their tour of North America, the eagles headed to Essex after a positive start to their pre-season, and they continued this good form early into this game.
Connor Wickham linked up with Jason Puncheon just outside Colchester’s penalty area, and the midfielder then found Mutch who expertly chipped the ball into the back of the net.
The Premier League side settled into the game and seemed comfortable, but suffered a scare midway through the opening half.
A corner from Colchester midfielder Doug Loft was misjudged by visiting keeper Alex McCarthy, and this gifted Chris Porter a header that he smashed against the post, forcing Puncheon to clear the ball off the line.
Just before the U’s had struck the post, Palace had broke and Lewis Kinsella did well to block a cross from Andros Townsend. The next notable chance for the away side was created by Zeki Fryers, the 23-year-old making his fourth start of pre-season, as he had a long rage effort that flew past the post.
Palace could not make their superiority count and the U’s went close again, as Loft drove a free-kick into the side-netting and then tested McCarthy again with a shot straight at the eagles keeper.
Just after the second half had begun Yannick Bolasie, who was making only his second appearance this summer, showed his quality as he successful took on and beat the home defensive and fired a shot at the keeper Sam Walker, who managed to turn it round the post.
After that chance the game started to slow, but Palace had to remain alert and thanks to a great tackle from Joel Ward, Porter was unable to bring the home-side level.
Manager Alan Pardew began to introduce some of the younger members of his bench as the half wore on, and this gave the home side an opportunity to hunt for an equaliser, however they were unable to capitalise, with just the one real chance coming from defender Tom Eastman who drilled a shot over the bar with the last action of the game.
More to come
Up next for Palace is a trip to League Two AFC Wimbledon on Wednesday night, before trips to Fulham and Bromley and the pre-season finale at home to Valencia on 6 August.