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Barnet vs Crystal Palace - 2023/24 Pre-Season Friendly

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all well and had a great summer!

On Tuesday 11th July 2023 Crystal Palace were back in action for the first pre-season friendly of the 2023/24 season after the summer break. Those six weeks flew by, but I for one am very happy football is back!

National League side Barnet finished their season a month before the Premier League so were ahead of Palace in their pre-season. The side that finished 5th in the league had already faced Norwich and Hemel Hempstead since the summer break, coming away with a draw and a win.

Palace on the other hand had only been back together for just over a week, under their once again announced permanent manager Roy Hodgson. With Shaun Derry joining his coaching team Hodgson was without many first team players who had been on international duties including the likes of Ebere Eze, those available should be back in the upcoming matches. Sadly, Michael Olise got injured while on duty with France under 21’s so it looks like he will be out for the start of the season. In more positive news the first summer signing is Colombia international Jefferson Lerma, hopefully the first of many!

Pre-season gives the manager a chance to see all his players in action ahead of the season. With first team regulars missing it was a perfect opportunity for both young and old to impress. Roy Hodgson named two different teams of 11 for each half giving everyone an equal chance, this included six of the previously loaned out youngsters along with many others. Palace wore their new white and blue 23/24 sashed kit for the first time which I am a big fan of.

Barnet is very close to my university and if it weren’t for broken lifts we would’ve got there smoothly, but TFL had other ideas! When we did arrive, our seats were located behind the goal in front of the other fans, we had a good view until the end where unfortunately people stood in front and blocked the view.

Crystal Palace lose their first 2023/24 pre-season match 1-0 away to Barnet.

Unfortunately, due to transport issues we missed the first 15 minutes, but when we arrived it was still 0-0.

Chances were rare with the first falling Palace’s way. Jairo Riedewald chipped the ball over the top to find Scott Banks, though the young Scotsman didn’t get a good connection on the volley and sent the ball straight over the bar.

The recent Bradford City loanee came close once again after taking on Barnet’s left back Ben Coker, this time forcing a save from the Barnet keeper Laurie Walker.

Having started their pre-season a week before the Eagles, the home side looked to be on the front foot and more comfortable in possession.

Barnet’s number 11 Idris Kanu did well to avoid the incoming challenge before driving towards goal, but his shot let him down as he lent back and saw the ball go far off target.

A similar attack occurred at the other end with Naouirou Ahamada given space to run at his man before cutting inside, but again was let down by his finish which whipped past the far post. Although it was a piece of positive play which overall lacked from the visitors in the first half.

Palace were lucky to go into the break level as Barnet created the best chance of the half. After some miscommunication from Kaden Rodney and James Tomkins, the Barnet wing-back Reece Hall-Johnson was slid in and won the race with the young Eagle down the wing. His shot was slotted just wide of the far post, his teammate was arriving for a tap in but the pass was just too heavy to get on the end of.

Palace emerged for the second half with a fully changed team including the likes of Tyrick Mitchell and Odsonne Edouard along with young academy talent to replace the tired legs.

Along with this Barnet too made an array of changes bringing more pace to the game. The fresh legs of Marvin Armstrong stole the ball off of Sean Grehan in a dangerous position just outside his defensive box, the shot from Barnet’s 21 went wide of the far post.

Palace looked a lot more energetic coming out from the break. League one’s 22/23 season wonder boy Jesurun Rak-Sakyi played a fantastic ball up field to Luke Dreher who forced a fingertip save from Barnet keeper Walker.

Joe Whitworth kept the scores level by denying Nicke Kabamba – who was through on goal – with his feet.

As the half wore on the tired legs started to show with pre-season worthy mistakes from both teams, including countless offsides from Palace.

Warning signs were presented to Palace as Barnet’s 22 put his shot just wide of the post after not being closed down by anyone in white and blue.

Rak-Sakyi displayed some lovely footwork to get himself into the box, but his cross was blocked just over the bar and into the travelling fans behind the goal. Palace weren’t clinical enough in the final third and was ultimately punished.

With just over five minutes left on the clock, second half substitute Courtney Senior made sure the home side left the happier of the teams. Receiving the ball 40 yards from goal the winger drove towards goal before unleashing an impressive effort into the top corner out of Whitworth’s reach to put his team ahead.

I wasn’t able to see the pitch for the final few minutes as everyone ran down and stood in front of me, but Palace weren’t able to produce anything in the remaining minutes meaning the National League side left with the win.

It’s always disappointing to lose but it is very early in pre-season and half of our main players were unavailable so hopefully we see some better results and performances in the coming weeks. Despite the result it was nice to see the boys that were out on loan last season back in action in Palace kits – and what a nice kit it is! As we were leaving we bumped into a few Palace players who were kind enough to stop for everyone. I brought my friend along to the game but unfortunately he didn’t pick a good game for his first Palace match 😬.

I’m not sure when my next game is but hopefully it isn’t too long.

Thank you for reading.

Ellie Xx


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