The Academy’s Wednesday squad edged past Crystal Palace LNS Volenti yesterday to progress to the next round of the NFYL Cup.
A brilliant overhead kick from Wiktor Maznica finished off a 3-1 victory that saw The Reds go behind in the first minute of the match.
Volenti scored first in the game’s opening minutes when the home side failed to clear a long throw into the Crawley Town box. Palace’s number ten hit the loose ball high into Erotokritos’ net from 15 yards to put the visitors ahead at the Camping World Community Stadium.
The Academy equalised 25 minutes in when Josh Clay was gifted the ball outside the area from a Palace centre-back forward pass. His clipped ball swept across the yellow’s backline for Wiktor Maznica to take a touch and hit home from six yards out.
Crawley kept the ball well and probed patiently throughout the match and could have felt aggrieved with extra time had the game ended in a draw. But, with ten minutes to go Josh Clay intercepted the ball in his own half to drive through the Palace midfield as the visitor’s retreated. He shrugged off a challenge on the edge of the area to force a parried save from the goalkeeper as he shot across goal. Lewis Gould was on hand to tap home a few yards out as the ball fell to his feet to put the team ahead with time running out.
With a few minutes to go the visitors couldn’t deal with a long-throw and sent a looping header high to Maznica with his back to goal near the penalty spot. His intuitive, acrobatic, overhead kick was just out of reach for the Palace ‘keeper as he leapt to his left hand post.
Crawley Town 3-1 Crystal Palace
Player of the Match: Jamie Anear