Stevenage 1-2 Crystal Palace: Plenty of positives to take from Dino Maamria’s men despite first pre-season loss

PUBLISHED: 23:49 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:13 25 July 2018

Stevenage fans watch their side take on Premier League visitors Crystal Palace. CREDIT @laythy29

Stevenage fans watch their side take on Premier League visitors Crystal Palace. CREDIT @laythy29

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Dino Maamria’s revamped team lost 2-1 to Premier League Crystal Palace as their undefeated pre-season campaign came to an end at the Lamex on Tuesday evening.

Despite a 16th minute goal from new signing Alex Reid, the Eagles hit back through a strike by Jonathan Williams four minutes before the break made it 1-1, before a late strike from Sullay Kaikai won the game for the South Londoners.

Boro boss Maamria took positives from the match, saying: “I thought it was a good game. We were well organised which was pleasing to see against a very good side.

“For most of the game we were the better team, I thought we created more clear cut chances than them.

“Unfortunately they scored for their only real chances – but that’s what happens when you play teams from the Premier League.

“Overall I thought it was a very good performance. We were sold defensively and I thought we were effective going forward.

“I’m pleased with the performance.”

An unmarked Reid was first to pounce on a deflected low ball into the box from Michael Timlin to fire the home side ahead and make it 1-0.

The South London visitors fought back to reply through Williams volley after a cross from the experienced Jason Puncheon.

Boro dominated but lacked penetration. Reid pressured Martin Kelly for the ball before squaring the ball to Georgiou but Vicente Guaita scrambled along his goal line to save.

Chances were few and far between for the sides during as defence trumped attack.

Palace’s main threat, Souare, was again was involved in troubling the home defence as he flashed a ball across the six-yard box which evaded his onrushing colleagues in the 81st minute.

Three minutes later Georgiou broke through the centre of Palace’s defence but he was unable to take a clean shot on goal as two defenders quickly snuffed out the opportunity.

With seconds remaining Kaikai grabbed the winner as he slotted home to make it 2-1. Despite the loss Stevenage look a force with special mention to the lively Reid and the solid Paul Farman.

Boro play a Watford XI at the Lamex at 7.30pm on Friday as they prepare for their League Two opener against Tranmere a week on Saturday.

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