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Columbus Crew 2-2 Crystal Palace: Glenn Murray and Jake Gray on target but Jonny Williams goes off injured

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CRYSTAL Palace played out an entertaining 2-2 draw against Columbus Crew on Wednesday night, with Glenn Murray and Jake Gray among the goals. The Eagles were the better side in the second half and had chances to win it but had to settle for a draw against the spirited hosts. Jonny Williams, who created Palace's second, lasted just a dozen or so minutes though as he was forced off with an injury. The Eagles' first chance came on seven minutes when Yannick Bolasie got to the byline and lifted a ball into Jason Puncheon, who headed wide. However, the hosts went even closer when Agustin Viana's header struck the post following a free-kick. And then Wil Trapp let fly from outside the box but the shot went wide. The Crew deservedly took the lead on 15 minutes when Eric Gehrig's pinpoint cross found Adam Bedell in between Joel Ward and Scott Dann to head home. Palace offered little in the opening quarter but they should have equalised when Bolasie's cross was headed back towards Dwight Gayle from Mile Jedinak, and the striker blazed well wide inside the box. Viana nearly doubled the Crew's lead when he sent a fizzing drive narrowly over, before Bolasie got a low shot in at goal only for Matt Lampson to save. Bolasie was then involved for Palace's equaliser on 36 minutes when he managed to get a good cross in from the left and Glenn Murray headed into the far corner unmarked. Justin Meram nearly restored the hosts' lead almost immediately when he shot just wide with Julian Speroni at full stretch. Speroni made way for Wayne Hennessey as the only change at the break, while the Crew made five themselves. However, just six minutes into the second period and the likes of Adrian Mariappa, Stuart O'Keefe and Marouane Chamakh all came on. They were soon followed by Peter Ramage, Hiram Boateng, Barry Bannan, Adlene Guedoura, Jonny Williams and Jake Gray around the hour-mark as boss Tony Pulis looked to give everyone much-needed game time. And it was the only man left on the field from the start, Scott Dann, who nearly put Palace ahead when his looping header was cleared off the line by Ben Speas. However, Palace did take the lead on 70 minutes thanks to young Jake Gray. Bannan played a superb crossfield pass to Williams on the left, before the Welsh international beat his marker and lifted the ball to Chamakh, who hit the post with a header and Gray was on hand to stab home the rebound. Williams nearly added a third for Palace when his left-footed shot went narrowly wide, and it proved to be his last piece of action as had to go off with an injury, with Ledley coming back on to replace him. And the Crew were level with ten minutes remaining when Daniel Paladini rose to plant an impressive header past Hennessey. O'Keefe went close to restoring Palace's lead soon after but missed the target by inches, while Dann found himself completely unmarked from a Bannan free-kick, only to see Lampson make a great save. And from the resulting corner, Dann rose to head wide of the target. It was probably a fair result in the end, with the Crew enjoying most of the first half and Palace the second. Pulis would have been happy with his squad stepping up their match fitness and also witnessing Academy product Gray grabbing another goal. He will be hoping the injury to Williams is not too serious though. Palace: Speroni (Hennessey 46), Ward (Mariappa 51), Dann, Delaney (Ramage 57), Jerome Williams (Boateng 57), Puncheon (Gray 60), Jedinak (O'Keefe 51), Ledley (Bannan 57), Bolasie (Jonny Williams 60 - Ledley 73), Murray (Chamakh 51), Gayle (Guedioura 60).

Columbus Crew 2-2 Crystal Palace: Glenn Murray and Jake Gray on target but Jonny Williams goes off injured


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