Eagles get a lift in first victory under Big Sam

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke heading their equaliser in the 66th minute of their FA Cup third-round replay against Bolton at Selhurst Park. The substitute scored again in the 77th minute to complete a 2-1 comeback victory.
Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke heading their equaliser in the 66th minute of their FA Cup third-round replay against Bolton at Selhurst Park. The substitute scored again in the 77th minute to complete a 2-1 comeback victory.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce has said that his side will grow in confidence after a 2-1 FA Cup third-round replay win over League One's Bolton Wanderers.

The 62-year-old had gone five matches without a win since replacing the sacked Alan Pardew just before Christmas.

"Wins grow confidence. There's no doubt about that. How much confidence we get from this will show on Saturday," Allardyce said, referring to the upcoming Premier League game against Everton.

The Eagles have found victories so hard to come by in recent times that even a slender success over third-tier opposition is to be cherished.

Indeed, an impressive Bolton side had led through James Henry, but Allardyce had substitute Christian Benteke to thank for sparing his blushes after the striker's brace sealed the victory.

Manchester City will hardly be quaking in their boots at the prospect of visiting in the fourth round, but that is a concern for another day. The last time Allardyce had overseen a victory was in Slovakia when he was still the England manager, back in early September.

"It has been a while for me," he said. "Let that (the win) bring the players confidence and go out with a positive attitude and play like that again. We need that from every member better now and (until) the end of the season."

Benteke remains an asset most of the clubs scrapping at the foot of the Premier League would crave to have. His first goals after six games without one puts him in good stead for the visit of Everton on Saturday.

There were upsets elsewhere on Tuesday. National Conference leaders Lincoln sent second-tier Ipswich crashing out with a 1-0 win.

Nathan Arnold got the winner from Adam Marriott's pass to book a fourth-round tie at home to Championship high-fliers Brighton.

"A non-league team into the fourth round of the FA Cup? It's what dreams are made of and we've got to enjoy it," Arnold said.

Sutton, 15th in the fifth tier, lived up to their reputation as FA Cup giant-killers with a shock 3-1 win at third-tier AFC Wimbledon.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2017, with the headline 'Eagles get a lift in first victory under Big Sam'. Print Edition | Subscribe