CRYSTAL PALACE 2
Guedioura 67, 75
Goodwin 26, Asmundsson 36
Crystal Palace fought back from 2-0 down to deny Albion victory in an engrossing contest at Selhurst Park.
The Seagulls were excellent in the first half when the hosts failed to cope with the three pronged attack of Shamir Goodwin, George Barker and Brennan Dickenson, but the Seagulls’ 2-0 half-time lead was cancelled out by Nabil Guedioura’s brace.
Albion started brightly, as Brennan Dickenson hit the bar after some great work from Goodwin down the right, while Kyle de Silva headed Palace’s best opening over after meeting Quade Taylor’s cross.
De Silva came close again, but after some neat footwork, his shot lacked the power to beat Grant Smith in the Albion goal.
Palace were backed by a vociferous pocket of home fans but it was the Seagulls that found the breakthrough. George Barker’s thunderbolt cannoned off the bar and a cruel ricochet off the back of Eagles keeper Lewis Price saw the ball fall perfectly for the alert Goodwin to finish into the empty net.
Albion came close to an instant second but Emil Asmundsson’s snapshot flashed wide before Glen Rea fired straight down the throat of Lewis.
Ireland’s side were controlling the game and the hosts had Alex Wynter’s perfectly timed block to thank for denying Barker.
But there was nothing the Eagles defence could do to stop a rampant Barker minutes later, as the forward worked his way along the byline and Asmundsson was on hand to finish from close range.
Albion continued to push on and Dickenson drew a decent stop out of Price before Smith excellently denied Ibra Sekajja up the other end, as Ireland’s men headed into the dressing room two goals to the good.
Palace had been second best for the first hour but there was still life in the hosts, as Sekajja fired over from 12 yards and Michael Chambers dropped an acrobatic volley over.
But the South London side did find a route back into the game as Nabil Guedioura raced clean through and supplied a cool finish to make it 2-1.
And it wasn’t long before the home side drew level when Quade Taylor tried to find the bottom corner only for Smith to deny him, but Guedioura tapped in the rebound.
The Eagles were reinvigorated and continued to look threatening on the break, but it was Rohan Ince who almost provided the late drama. The midfielder’s swerving strike from distance was tipped over by Price.
There was a late flurry from palace as De Silva struck the post, and Smith was on hand to deny Guedioura again in a frantic finale.
Albion: Smith, Rea, Trialist (Collar 57), El-Abd, Chicksen, Goodwin (Deen 63), Richards, Ince, Barker, Asmundsson, Dickenson.
Subs not used: Walton, Barclay, Harris.