BY SAM SMITH
Crystal Palace advanced to the FA Cup quarter-final for the first time since 2016 as they defeated third-tier Doncaster Rovers.
First-half goals from Jeffrey Schlupp and Max Meyer at the Keepmoat Stadium saw Roy Hodgson’s side through as they avoided a potential upset against the League One promotion hopefuls.
It was the Eagles’ first shot on target from which they opened the scoring. An excellent interception and pass from Luka Milivojevic encouraged Schlupp to drive at the Doncaster defence and thump a deflected effort into the bottom corner.
The early goal gave Palace comfort, but some of their play was poor. Despite this, Roy Hodgson’s side twice should have been awarded a penalty, the first a more subtle handball as Scott Dann headed towards goal, but the second seemed far more obvious when Paul Downing prevented Patrick van Aanholt’s cross with his arm.
Doncaster were tenacious and offered a more high-intensity, imposing test than Grimsby Town had done in the third round. Liverpool loanee Herbie Kane tested Wayne Hennessey midway through the half and former Millwall man John Marquis provided Dann and Martin Kelly with a physical challenge.
But the South Londoners’ superiority showed as Meyer finished off a neat move with a header in first-half added time.
Alfie May missed a fantastic chance to grab a goal back inside the first five minutes of the second half but somehow headed over Hennessey’s goal from four yards.
Michy Batshuayi should then have scored his first Palace goal 20 minutes from time when he raced through on goal but shot straight at Marko Marosi.
Hennessey made one final good save in added time from Kieran Sadlier and the Eagles go into the last eight with their defence still unbreached in the competition.