Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce has urged his side to use their comeback victory over his former club Bolton as fuel to ignite their Premier League survival bid after reaching the FA Cup fourth round.
Allardyce earned his first win as Palace manager at the sixth attempt as substitute Christian Benteke, a £27m signing from Liverpool, saved the Eagles’ blushes with a second-half double, which cancelled out James Henry’s opener.
Palace’s third-round replay triumph set up a showdown with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on 29 January, although Allardyce’s focus immediately switched to Saturday’s crucial league tussle with Everton at Selhurst Park.
“Wins grow confidence, there’s no doubt about that,” said Allardyce. “How much confidence we get from this will show on Saturday. I need players to play better, to hit top form and help us get out of the position we are in.
“Disappointingly for me, that big win should have come against Watford [in his first game in charge]. Look how costly that was, it was a big two points dropped. I’d like to get a first win in the Premier League now. I like to win every game.”
Former Millwall midfielder Henry, who had only netted once this season prior to last night, put his goalscoring woes to one side by lashing a long-range effort into the top corner moments after the restart.
Part of Palace’s retaliation was to throw on Benteke and the Belgium hitman duly conjured a leveller as he powered home a 68th minute header from ex-Gunner Mathieu Flamini’s inviting cross.
Benteke proved the scourge of the League One high-flyers once again and dealt the decisive blow with 13 minutes remaining, showing poise to collect Andros Townsend’s centre before firing past Bolton stopper Ben Alnwick.
It also proved to be another memorable chapter in the history of National League Sutton United, meanwhile, who earned a money-spinning home clash with Championship side Leeds after a second-half fightback accounted for AFC Wimbledon 3-1.
The League One side opened the scoring in the early stages through striker Tom Elliott, only for defender Paul Robinson to see red moments later and leave AFC Wimbledon a man light for more than 75 minutes.
Sutton, who famously knocked out top-flight Coventry City in 1989, levelled courtesy of a stunning Roarie Deacon strike, while goals from Maxime Biamou and Dean Fitchett settled matters.
Elsewhere, strike duo Sam Vokes and Andre Gray both found the net as home specialists Burnley rustled up another victory at Turf Moor and comfortably dispatched hapless Premier League strugglers Sunderland 2-0.
There was another shock at Sincil Bank as Lincoln's Nathan Arnold netted a stoppage-time winner to deservedly dispose of second-tier Ipswich.