Two goals from Christian Benteke was needed to save Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce from suffering defeat against his former club Bolton wanderers in their FA Cup third round replay.
The League one team inadvertently took the lead when winger James Henry, who missed a number of chances in the first game, had looped over Julian Speroni in the second half to put the visiting team ahead.
With a quick exit threatening last season’s finalist, Allardyce quickly brought on Benteke, and the Belgian equalized not five minutes after coming on from the bench by heading in Mathieu Flamini’s cross.
Less than 10 minutes later, the former Liverpool player doubled the score for Palace, giving the Eagles the advantage. Collecting Andros Townsend’s cross with his back to goal, the striker spun and fired home the winner past the Bolton defense, scoring his 10th goal of the season.
The game then finished at the 2-1 score, with the Trotters having little to show for in attack — aside from a poke by Zach Clough that went just wide of the post.
This was Allardyce’s sixth game in charge of Palace after being appointed as manager, but also his first win. His attention would be needed this weekend in the Premier League as Palace stays just a place above the relegation zone.
Everton, whom they will play against this weekend, defeated Manchester City by 4-0 last weekend. The Manchester club are also Palace’s adversaries in the next round of the FA Cup.
“It is nice to get through and of course when Manchester City come in a couple of weeks it will be nice to play that game, but it is all about Everton in the league now,” he said after the match. “Wins grow confidence, there is no doubt about that. How much confidence we get from this will show on Saturday.”