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Crystal Palace vs Hartlepool United - 21/22 FA Cup Fourth round

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you are all well!

After being away for 13 days, Palace were finally back in action on Saturday 5th of

February 2022, hosting Hartlepool United in the FA Cup fourth round.

Hartlepool are in League 2 and are currently sitting in 17th place failing to win any of their last 5, but still managed to pick up points through 4 draws. They beat Blackpool 2-1 in the third round to qualify for this round of the FA Cup. Still an army of support followed them down to South London (bringing lots of alcohol with them), they even caused the Sainsbury’s to have to close after they had blocked the road! Before the game there was a JustGiving page created for the managers wife who had a brain tumour and needed treatment, the clubs combined managed to raise a fantastic total of £73k, we may have been rivals on the pitch but it’s great to see fans come together for causes like this.

Vieira made 4 changes to the line-up compared to the one he gave for the Liverpool game these were Butland, Kelly, Eze and Milivojevic coming in to replace Guaita, Andersen, Edouard and Hughes. Zaha did return from AFCON after Ivory Coast were knocked out, but he returned with a slight shoulder injury so was left out of this game. Kouyate was the only player yet to return as Senegal have made it to the final, so a massive good luck to him! Two academy players were named on the bench Jesuran Rak-Sakyi and Tayo Adaramola who was looking to make his first team debut! During the January transfer window our only business was signing Mateta on a four-and-a-half-year deal for 9mil, along with Luke Plange who is a teenager from Derby for 1Mil, but he will remain at Derby till the end of the season to help them avoid relegation. Also, in the winter break Olise was named January’s POTM after a fantastic month both in the Premier League and FA Cup, many more to come for him!

It was a 3pm kick off and was a complete sell out with people who aren’t able to come to Prem games being given an opportunity to come support their team! It was a very cold and windy day, possibly the coldest we’ve been too this season in contention with the Villa game, but hopefully we’re heading towards warmer weather. We started the game well and as expected was dominating the play, a rare sight for a Palace fan! Olise caused some issues for their defender very early on winning us a free kick out wide in just the third minute; he stood over the ball ready to whip it into a loaded box, a perfect ball over all the players met a perfectly timed run by Guehi who was totally unmarked and was able to direct the ball into the back of the net for his third goal of the season! 1-0 up, what a great start! Eze and Olise swapped sides throughout the game for short periods, but Olise did most of the damage when he was attacking down the right. Ward found himself in behind after a ball through from Olise, but his shot/cross was from a tight angle and was pretty simple for the keeper to collect. On the 15-minute mark Eze picked up the ball and was urged to shoot, he did but it was deflected out for a corner, our first of the game which Eze went out to take and was given a warm reception from the fans in the corner. In fairness to Hartlepool, they did to very well to play themselves out from the back under a lot of pressure, gave their fans something to cheer about. The next piece of play in the 22nd minute came from Gallagher winning the ball back from a goal kick which was headed down, he flicked it into the path of Olise who took the ball in his stride after a little skill off his back heal to take the ball around the defender, he then had a clear diagonal run towards goal and was finally able to place the ball into the back of the net at the near post! Fourth goal for the young winger and so deserved after his work rate early in the game, 2-0 up and in full control of the game! The only thing he needs to work on is his celebration, but I guess his composure shows his maturity. His name rang around the stadium and rightly, so he’s been a fantastic Zaha stand in/replacement option. Schlupp did very well especially in the first half to work hard to win the ball back and always be in the correct positions to do so.

Good first half topped off with a great atmosphere, not too much to work on because we were in complete control just needed to carry on the way we were for the next 45 minutes!

The second half began with Hartlepool taking the first kick. Another early chance for us as Olise whipped the ball into the box finding Mateta who had made a run in behind the defence, he was able to get something on it, but the ball was kept out by the post, and Mitchell wasn’t able to direct the rebound goal-wards. Would have been a great way for Mateta to mark signing a permanent deal with the Eagles! Our balls in the final third were pretty poor in the second half, but we were still dominating the possession especially in the midfield. I was impressed by Butland’s balls out from the back, when we were under pressure playing round the back and he went for the long ball option it always seemed to go to the intended area and man, shows he’s still looking to improve. In the 52nd minute the referee was made aware of some trouble in the crowd in the away end, he stopped the game so our medical team could go and assist; after a lengthy break we was able to carry on, I don’t want to speculate about what was happening, but it seemed that thankfully the fan was okay. Great to see how fast the Palace team reacted to go and help, this seems to be happening a lot more recently but it’s good to see all the correct precautions be put in place around the country. Credit to the Hartlepool fans who didn’t stop singing and put us to shame for portions of the game! Eze did attempt to go on his run’s multiple times but most of them just ended in him being brought down, or not being able to take the ball in his stride. Triple substitution for us in the 70th minute which saw Hughes, Edouard and Clyne, come on for Schlupp, Eze and Mitchell. Hartlepool had one of their only shots late in the half, it was a decent effort but didn’t trouble Butland too much as he palmed it out for a throw. Mateta forced yet another good save from the keeper, as he rolled the ball round the player and into the box after receiving the ball from Clyne, but his shot was sent right towards the keeper. Another substitution came in the 79th minute as Benteke came on to replace Mateta. Hartlepool did attempt to get themselves a goal in the closing stages, but we stayed composed and dealt with all their threats. The fifth and final chance from Vieira came in the 85th minute and was the most special of all, it saw Tayo Adaramola come on to replace Ward to make his Crystal Palace senior debut. Tayo had made his way up the ages in the academy and was now rewarded with a deserved debut in front of a full Selhurst Park at 18 years old! Adaramola showed his attacking threat immediately as he had a chance to score seconds after coming on, but the defender stayed with him preventing the ball crossing the line, what a debut that would have been! Vieira did say his attacking threat was what attracted him to the young player, and he feels he will fit in with our current system with attacking fall backs, so an exciting few months ahead for him which hopefully leads to Premier League minutes! “You’re only here for the Palace” rang round the stand as the game came to a close. We had a few more late chances but nothing significant came from the - the game ended 2-0 to us!

The second half wasn’t as eventful as the first, but no complaints we got our name into the draw for the fifth round! A crazy amount of results over the weekend in this round, but thankfully this one went our way without any complications! I know I speak about him a lot but recently whenever Olise is on the ball it’s just exciting to see what he’s going to do, he has a bright future and hopefully it’s with us. Of course, he picked up the Man of the Match award once again, after getting an assist for Guehi followed by a goal for himself! The draw for the next round has now been done and we will face Stoke at home on Wednesday 3rd of March to hopefully continue our road to Wembley!

The day following this game Kouyate, and Senegal were crowned champions of AFCON after beating Egypt on penalties, huge congratulations to them we look forward to having Chek back after he’s finished celebrating.

Match stats:

• Palace had a total of 60.4% possession, Hartlepool had 39.6%

• Palace had a total of 21 shots with 9 on target.

• Hartlepool had 9 shots with 3 on target.

Our next game against Brentford on Saturday 12th of February, I am attending the game so look out for a post on that.

Thank you for reading

Ellie Xx


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