Bettamer 40 pen Barham 41 Tutonda 47, 60 Akinola 69 Trialist 90
CRYSTAL PALACE 2
Boateng 3 Wickham 10
BY JAKE SANDERS AT THE HIVE
Some pre-season games you learn little and in others you learn very little – this was the latter.
Crystal Palace’s trip to The Hive was scheduled to be a first-team fixture, but after their gruelling tour of Switzerland last week, it ended up being an Eagles XI, with just four senior players named in the squad to take on the National League side.
However, it still provided an opportunity for those who hardly featured in the Swiss capital to impress and possibly give manager Roy Hodgson some food for thought moving forward, especially with the Premier League club yet to dip into the transfer window this summer.
But in truth, despite some classy moments from Connor Wickham, including a stunning early volley that ended up in the top corner to double Palace’s advantage, and an early assist for Alexander Sorloth – who didn’t do himself any favours on the night – none of their senior players took their chance.
The former England manager wouldn’t have taken much from his visit to north London.
At times, you could hardly tell the difference between the senior and development players.
Palace’s only summer signing, goalkeeper Stephen Henderson, made his first appearance in an Eagles shirt, but it was one to forget as he conceded two goals in as many minutes at the end of the opening period and then three more in the first 19 minutes of the second-half.
An injury-time strike from a Barnet trialist meant he conceded six on his Palace debut. Not many Palace goalkeepers can say that, although it’s something he’ll be far from proud of.
But the former Nottingham Forest and Charlton Athletic shotstopper could do very little about any of the Bees’ six goals as they showed their clinical touch on a number of occasions.
Henderson will be hoping for a better outcome when he makes a swift return to the City Ground in Crystal Palace’s next pre-season game against his former side this evening.
The Eagles trip to The Hive did start well. But by the time a trialist slotted in Barnet’s sixth, David Boateng’s second-minute strike for the Eagles had almost been forgotten about.
Does that name ring a bell? Well, it should. He is still waiting to make his first-team debut for Palace, but he was the ballboy that wound up both Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta and then Blues boss Jose Mourinho in that memorable 1-0 victory against their London rivals at Selhurst Park back in April 2014. He was just 14 back then, his early strike here was hours before he celebrated his 19th birthday.
Despite his age and possibly lack of conviction in front of goal, considering he is a defensive-minded player, the teenager latched on to Sorloth’s pass before lashing past former Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach with a great deal of confidence.
A corner routine and a thumping Wickham finish later and Palace looked to have their first pre-season victory in the bag before the clock had struck 10 minutes.
The injury-hit striker punched the air and saluted to the small pocket of travelling Eagles fans – his first goal since netting in the 4-3 defeat at Anfield in January. It meant a lot more than a goal against a fifth-tier side, it was a release of frustration from the forward.
Any of the 1,100 fans inside The Hive who might have thought that the South Londoners would run away with the contest would have been extremely dissapointed. This would be as good as it got for Hodgson’s men.
The game turned on a 41st-minute penalty, dispatched by Mo Bettamer, before he turned provider for ex-Welling United forward Jack Barham to tap home an equaliser seconds later.
A brace from half-time substitute David Totunda gave the Bees a 4-2 advantage before another substitute Simeon Akinola, added a fifth with another deadly finish.
A trialist completed the rout for Darren Currie’s men just before the end.
By the time Palace kick off their Premier League campaign against Everton on 9 August, this horror show would have been forgotten about, but there was no denying it was a night to forget for the Selhurst Park side.
In the mean time, Hodgson has far more important assignments to deal with, like ensuring Wilfried Zaha remains at the club – once he returns from his holidays after playing in the African Cup of Nations for Ivory Coast.
And there is also the question whether Palace will bring in a suitable replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka before the August window slams shut in just under three weeks time.
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.