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First-half goals enough to ease Palace past Hartlepool

Crystal Palace v Hartlepool United – Emirates FA Cup – Fourth Round – Selhurst Park
(Image credit: Jonathan Brady)

Crystal Palace eased into the FA Cup fifth round after first-half goals by Marc Guehi and Michael Olise downed Hartlepool at Selhurst Park.

Patrick Vieira’s side were 2-0 up inside 22 minutes and that was how it finished, despite their Sky Bet League Two opponents improving after the break.

The Eagles could still have triumphed by a greater margin but their manager, a five-time winner of the FA Cup as a player, would not have minded and will be keen for Palace to get a favourable last-16 draw on Sunday morning.

Vieira put out another strong team with only four changes made from the defeat to Liverpool last month. There was one big surprise, with Martin Kelly given a first start in 17 months.

A large travelling contingent made for an electric atmosphere before kick-off but it did not take long for the Premier League club to flex their muscles.

Only four minutes were on the clock when Guehi tapped home for his third goal since a summer move from Chelsea.

Olise was the creator with a wonderful free-kick from the right and England Under-21 centre-back Guehi timed his run to perfection before producing an equally impressive finish.

The fourth tier side responded well and tested Jack Butland almost immediately from kick-off but David Ferguson saw his header at the back post scrambled behind for a corner.

More minutes were handed to Ebere Eze, who superbly worked a yard of space before seeing a shot deflect wide off Gary Liddle after 16 minutes.

Eze looked in the mood and dribbled past two opponents shortly afterwards before he was upended but the resulting free-kick was curled over by the playmaker.

Hartlepool had brought 4,700 fans down to the capital and a sustained period of possession saw the visiting support break out into a chorus of oles.

Palace – and in particular Olise – brought them back down to earth in the 22nd minute, though, when the hosts went 2-0 up.

A short goal-kick was won back by Joel Ward and Conor Gallagher found Olise, who flicked the ball past Croydon-born Timi Odusina before he checked back inside and curled the ball into the bottom corner.

Olise flashed another effort wide while defender Ward was also denied a goal prior to half-time when Ben Killip saved his low shot.

The Hartlepool goalkeeper was busy at the start of the second period, producing a double save to repel the relentless Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta also had a shot saved.

Mateta had earlier hit a post and Tyrick Mitchell put the follow-up over, but the attempts of the hosts to put the game to bed were delayed in the 53rd minute when play was stopped due to a medical emergency in the away end.

Medics from both teams rushed across to assist and were given a standing ovation seven minutes later when they returned to their seats.

When played resumed, it was Hartlepool who threatened with Luke Molyneux denied by Butland after a fine run before Bryn Morris let fly from range and forced the Palace goalkeeper into a sprawling save.

Vieira had made a triple substitution by this point and late on introduced 18-year-old Tayo Adaramola for his debut, but there was no final flourish with Killip able to deny substitutes Will Hughes and Odsonne Edouard to ensure it finished 2-0.

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