Palace’s U21 side continued their unbeaten run in pre-season with victory at Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday evening, thanks to goals from Mandela Egbo, Sullay KaiKai and Kyle de Silva.
The game saw new signing Fraizer Campbell make his debut as the main striker, with Stephen Dobbie and Reise Allassani either side of him. With all eyes on the former Cardiff City man, he showed some neat touches and perhaps a sign of things to come when after Allassani put him through, he squared back across goal for Sullay KaiKai to tap in just before half-time.
Prior to KaiKai’s goal, Palace had a let off early on when Nyren Clunis got in behind the Palace defence and pulled it back but Dean Lodge’s shot was cleared off the line by trialist Sam Magri. The Eagles had gone close through Allassani but his shot was blocked.
Clunis was again involved as he crossed for Lodge again, but the striker couldn’t quite connect with a diving header. After 15 minutes, it was Palace who took the lead through Mandela Egbo. The England U17 right-back scored with an audacious lob from the edge of the box, after Allassani was thwarted in a one-on-one just beforehand.
Dulwich looked to play plenty of long balls mixed with exploiting Matty George down the left with pace, and they got in behind the defence only for David Gregory to make a superb save from Ashley Carew’s fierce drive. Soon after, however, Laurence Hamici outmuscled Luke Croll with great strength and fired past Gregory who could only parry the shot into the top corner at his near post as Hamlet found the equaliser on 22 minutes.
Sullay KaiKai almost put the visitors back in front when he danced his way into space on the edge of the box but his effort whistled narrowly over the bar as the game started to become stretched. Dulwich countered and Dean Lodge’s acrobatic effort was deflected for a corner.
The hosts then took the lead for the first time in the match as the referee adjudged a Palace defender to have handled a Kevin James corner, and Carew sent Gregory the wrong way to make it 2-1.
However, they would not hold the lead for long as an excellent team move saw Allassani feed Campbell down the right and he pulled the ball back for KaiKai to tap home from two yards on the stroke of half time.
Half time saw Dobbie, Campbell and George replaced by Kyle de Silva, Morgan Ferrier and Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong.
Only two minutes into the second half Palace were given a golden opportunity to regain the lead after KaiKai’s tricky feet were too much for the defender who brought him down and the referee pointed to the spot.
Morgan Ferrier stepped up confidently but smashed his spot kick hard against the bar and over, much to the dismay of those watching.
The second period lacked the verve that embodied the first as the game slowed down significantly, with both sides cancelling each other out. Ghass Sow was particularly impressive in the centre of the field as the Eagles’ skipper thwarted a number of Hamlet attacks, and it was he who was involved in a controversial incident mid way through the half as he was bundled over in the box trying to reach Allassani’s centre, but the referee waved away Palace’s protests.
Gregory was called into action again as a looping ball in almost caught him out but he kept his concentration to do well to tip it over the bar.
The impressive Allassani was once again having joy down the Dulwich right but his whipped ball in was turned away. Nonetheless, the Eagles would eventually let their pressure tell as KaiKai did well down the left and his ball in found Kyle de Silva who struck a sweet left-footed volley on the turn and the net bustled as Palace went 3-2 ahead after 72 minutes of a pulsating match.
The action wasn’t over there as Palace broke through trialist Femi Akinwande and his curling left-footed effort from 20 yards beat the ‘keeper but smashed against the woodwork, with a follow up effort almost lobbing the goalkeeper from a similar distance.
The match finished Dulwich 2-3 Palace with an impressive performance from Reise Allassani who troubled the defence all evening, but it was Ghass Sow’s tenacious efforts in the centre of midfield which earned him FYP’s man of the match.
It was a quiet performance from Fraizer Campbell despite his assist, but with the forward yet to play in pre-season the 45 minutes under his belt would have pleased his manager.
Palace line up: Gregory, George (Berkeley-Agyepong 45), Magri (Inniss, 60), Croll (Chambers, 60), Egbo, Sow (C), Gabsi (Black, 60), Allassani, KaiKai, Dobbie (de Silva, 45), Campbell (Ferrier, 45).
Frazier Campbell can't wait to get going at Palace after joining on a three-year deal...and admitted last season's turn around under Tony Pulis was a deciding factor.
The 26-year-old striker joined from Cardiff for just £600,000 and is excited about returning to the Premier League.
"I am delighted to sign on the dotted line and become a Crystal Palace player and now I am really looking forward to being part of this club and meeting the other lads," he told Palace's official site.
"Last season this club made great progress, I remember the run of games without defeat and from when Tony Pulis came in he got the club moving up the league.
"Around Christmas looking in at this club it looked like Palace were dead and buried but the gaffer breathed some fresh life into the club and added to the squad to help the team push up to 11th."
He added: "This is a great opportunity for myself to, firstly, get back in the Premier League and also have the chance to be around a great manager and some fantastic players.
"The last couple of weeks have been frustrating for me but I can't wait to get started now in the red and blue of Crystal Palace."
Eagles boss Tony Pulis is happy to add the striker to his ranks but is frustrated he hasn't been able to bring Campbell out to the club's pre-season tour of America, meaning it will be a few extra days before fans get to see him in a Palace shirt.
“I’m disappointed we’ve not been able to bring him out here, but pleased that he’s signed," said Pulis.
“We need goals, as you’ve seen today – we need people who can put the ball in the back of the net.
“We created lots of chances today and needed an own goal to win the game, so we need to improve that.
“He’s got a good attitude and works hard. He’ll blend in well with the rest of the group because that’s what the group have got.”
Palace have completed a move for Cardiff City striker Fraizer Campbell, with the fee believed to be in the region of £600,000.
The 26-year-old has signed a three year contract with the Eagles after they saw off competition from Leicester City to land signing of the Yorkshireman who has an England cap to his name.
Campbell began his career with Manchester United and was loaned out various times before eventually joining Sunderland on a permanent deal for £6million.
In January 2013 the striker moved on again to join Cardiff and spearhead their push for promotion from the Championship, for a fee of £650,000 scoring on his debut against Leeds United.
The former Hull City loanee scored six goals in 36 Premier League appearances for the Bluebirds last season, including two against Manchester City in a surprise 3-2 victory.
He will fight it out with Dwight Gayle and Glenn Murray for the lone striker spot at Selhurst Park, but his versatile nature may result in Tony Pulis deploying the him on the wing.
Arsenal will be without World Cup winning trio Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker for the opening day clash with Palace.
The Germany threesome have been given extra time to recover from the tournament in Brazil, which they won beating Argentina in the final.
Those three will only return to training on August 11th while the Gunners host Palace for the first Premier League game of the new season five days later.
It's a big boost for Tony Pulis and co as Arsene Wenger confirmed the news while on tour in the USA.
He added: "Our expectations have always been there but we have not always fulfilled them. We are very ambitious. Last season we were top of the league for 128 days, we won the FA Cup and next season we want to win more.
"The level of competition in England is high so it is hard to predict how good every team will be, but we will try to be even better.
"Our training camps are decided for commercial reasons as well. We have never been to the states and I’m happy.
"The best for football is not to travel too much, because of many reasons, for example jet lag. But we are only here for four days - it's not a training camp. We will go to Austria after this for our camp."
Palace meanwhile are hoping to have Fraizer Campbell in the ranks for the opening clash - the Cardiff striker is expected to be unveiled at SE25 in the next 24 hours.
Palace were held to a 2-2 draw in Columbus on the first of their three-game tour of the USA.
Glenn Murray and Jake Gray scored for the Eagles but a late Daniel Paladini header had the Crew fans going home happy.
The small but dedicated amount of Eagles contingent were treated to Murray, Julian Speroni and Jason Puncheon getting their first starts of pre-season.
But it was the Crew - managed by former Palace defender Greg Berhalter - who started brighter as Agustin Viani headd against the post before Adam Bedell nodded in to make it 1-0 after 15 minutes.
Palace levelled just before the break as Yannick Bolasie crossed for Glenn Murray to glance in a header - despite a hint of offside.
The substitutions came just after half time as Tony Pulis rang the changes and one of them put Palace ahead as Jake Gray pounced on a rebound following Marouane Chamakh's header hitting the post.
Jonny Williams lasted just 15 minutes after coming on as he hobbled off with what looked like an injury before Crew levelled it up.
Viana swung over a pinpoint cross which Paladini glanced past Wayne Hennessey to share the spoils.
After the game Pulis said:gaffer said: “The result is not what we’re after. What we’re after really is players getting fit. The results business starts at the Emirates in a few weeks’ time.
“The important thing is we get the players through the games, the players get game time and their fitness improves.
“They’ve worked hard. What people don’t understand is that we’ve overloaded them. They are very tired coming into this game because of the work they’ve done before it.
“For the next week or two, we will overload them, so they will be playing at times a little bit tired. But that will get them fitter for when the season starts.”
Crystal Palace: Speroni (Hennessey 46), Ward (Mariappa 51), Dann, Delaney (Ramage 57), Jerome Williams (Boateng 57), Puncheon (Gray 60), Jedinak (O’Keefe 51), Ledley (Bannan 57), Bolasie (Jonny Williams 60), Murray (Chamakh 51), Gayle (Guedioura 60).
Crystal Palace U18s fell to a narrow defeat against Cray Wanderers in their opening match of pre-season on Tuesday evening, with a Pat O'Connor goal separating the two sides; but there were plenty of positives to take from the 1-0 defeat.
In a game of men against boys, with Eagles' boss Ken Gillard naming a very young side made up largely of first year scholars, Palace performed well throughout but lacked a cutting edge.
The home side began well with two decent efforts which were dealt with well, before Palace came into the game through wingers Andre Coker and Aaron Bissaka, as well as midfielder Kiye Martin.
Martin tried to dance his way into the box early on after working himself some space, but was denied by some good defending, before Coker began a good break down the left wing but his poor touch ended the attack prematurely. Nonetheless, it was an encouraging spell for the youngsters as they showed some good touches and their communication saw some promising opportunities arise.
Both teams tried their luck from range but neither side had their finishing boots on as the efforts either sailed wide or failed to test the goalkeepers, but after 25 minutes the game burst into life as some poor defending from Palace allowed Pat O'Connor to steal into the box and lob Brad Comins from close range to put Cray 1-0 ahead. A header from a free-kick ensued soon after, but it looped harmlessly over the bar.
A surreal moment followed as Palace winger Coker was once again involved in a promising attack. Having made the step up from the U16s, Coker was looking to impress his boss and certainly did that, but most in attendance were bemused as he somehow contrived to miss from close range from his own header but offside was given anyway. The youngster tricked his way into the box and after a deflection headed the ball over the defender and looped the goalkeeper only to see his effort loop onto the crossbar, before the assistant referee flagged for offside.
Cray brought themselves back into the game again with two excellent efforts and began to dominate, but Palace goalkeeper Brad Comins was in superb form to keep the deficit to a single goal as he tipped the shots past the post and over the bar.
The game started to become stretched and the end to end nature of the first half was summed up as Andre Coker beat the offside trap down the right to find himself clean through but could not find the finish as Palace's best chance went begging.
The Eagles were looking extremely dangerous on the break with the pace of Kiye Martin, Coker, Andrews and Bissaka causing Cray real problems, but Martin failed to spot Coker in a superb position down the left and instead fed Bissaka who was dispossesed. Then, on the stroke of half time, the youngsters broke once again but Corie Andrews' effort went narrowly over the bar.
Palace made nine changes at half time, with only Comins and Coker remaining on the pitch, and it showed as an even younger side struggled to find any cutting edge, although performed admirably to keep the home side at bay despite their physical presence. The endurance from Palace was sufficient to create a few attempts on goal in the second half but Ollie Bennett's effort was well saved, before Elliot List's excellent run and shot was frustratingly held by the 'keeper.
List, who lost his place in the side to Aaron Bissaka following an injury, looked threatening down the right wing but earned a number of kicks for his effort as the Cray players struggled to deal with his pace and skill. Indeed, it almost turned nasty when a very poor challenge from the Cray midfielder resulted in a melee which saw List sent off late on.
Both sets of players reacted and a punch appeared to be thrown by the Cray player, before List's reaction saw the referee send him off; although Palace may choose to appeal. The youngsters perhaps a little too enthusiastically raced to defend their team-mate but both sets of players continued the unecessary handbags.
It somewhat marred what was a thoroughly impressive performance from Palace's forwards, despite their failure to trouble the scorers.
There were impressive performances from centre-back Ollie O'Dwyer, last season's U16 skipper Michael Phillips as well as Coker and Martin, with boss Ken Gillard pleased with what he saw.
Palace first half line up: Comins, King-Elliot, Akiotu, Wynter, O'Dwyer, Hoare, Coker, Bissaka, Gaggin, Martin, Andrews.
Palace second half line up: Pain, Hogan, Day, Howlett-Mundle, Phillips, Akanbi, Clement, Peter List, Bennett, Coker, Jeremiah.
Crystal Palace target Gylfi Sigurdsson is expected to complete a move back to Swansea.
Palace look to have lost on on signing Gylfi Sigurdsson as the midfielder is set to re-join Swansea.
The Eagles had an £8m offer accepted for the Icelandic international by Spurs but have been basically cock blocked by the Swans.
By chucking in Michel Vorm and Ben Davies into the mix, Swansea have been able to gazump Palace for his signing.
It leaves Tony Pulis still searching for some summer signings.
Meanwhile, Fraizer Campbell is reportedly heaving a medical at Palace today (Wednesday) ahead of a £600,000 move.
Jose Campana has ended his short stay in SE25 after signing for Italian side Sampdoria for an undisclosed fee.
The 21-year-old joined Palace last summer from Sevilla for £1.3m on a four-year deal to much excitement in South London.
The midfielder was captain of the Spain U20 side and was highly rated - but failed to settle in England.
He found first team games under Ian Holloway hard to come by and struggled to adapt to life in London.
When Holloway was replaced by Tony Pulis the opportunities all but stopped and in January he joined German side Nurnberg on a season-long loan after making just six appearances in the Premier League.
Campana travelled to Italy at the weekend to undergo a medical and has been unveiled a Samp player on Tuesday.