Home > News > Palace Aid 2024: Match report & highlights

Palace Aid 2024: Match report & highlights

Saturday 25th May saw Selhurst Park play host to Palace Aid 2024, with two teams of celebrities & Palace legends going head-to-head to raise money to help end youth violence in south London.

The two teams were led out of the tunnel by their captains, Palace for Life patrons, Doc Brown & Andrew Johnson to the famous Glad All Over anthem.

Ben Perryman and Sheridan Kawaley lead their teams out

It was AJ’s XI that were quickest out of the blocks, taking the lead through Michael Dapaah. AJ put Dapaah through to coolly finish past Luis Garcia in goal, and give his side a ninth-minute lead. Dapaah thought he had doubled his tally five minutes later but was flagged offside following some magic from Matt Thacker in the build-up to create the chance.

AJ, Matt Thacker and Michael Dapaah celebrate the opening goal

This seemed to stir Doc Brown’s XI into action as they forced Ashley Inkz into an incredible double save at the other end, however they were left to rue those missed chances when AJ was tripped in the box and Premier League referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot. Johnson duly dusted himself down to roll the penalty into the bottom corner. 19 minutes gone, 2-0.

Team AJ’s fast start continued just three minutes later when the Palace legend broke the offside trap and produced a sublime chip to lift the ball over the stranded goalkeeper. 

Doc Brown’s XI slowly grew into the game and gave themselves a lifeline when comedian Mo Gilligan was on hand to tuck home a rebound from a Tyrique Hyde shot. It was game on just a few minutes later when Antoine Dixon-Bellott finished well from a corner to make it 3-2.

There was still time for more first-half drama as Graham Scott adjudged Traitors star Paul Gorton to have not been 100% faithful in his tussle with Stuart Douglas, giving Doc’s XI the chance to level the scores right on 45-minutes. Douglas stepped up to send his penalty down the middle and improbably draw his side level at 3-3!

Stuart Douglas celebrates his penalty

With the sun beating down and the crowd expecting more entertainment, it was an important half-time team talk for the two managers, Ben Perryman & Sheridan Kawaley, and it was Kawaley’s that appeared to do the trick as his side scored within 60-seconds of the restart. Luke Trotman broke away down the right wing before putting it on a plate for Matt Thacker to tuck home at the back post.

In a repeat of the early stages of the first half, AJ’s XI were soon two goals to the good as Ramz ghosted into the 6-yard box to finish at the second attempt. Then on 65-minutes AJ’s XI restored their earlier three-goal lead as the skipper produced a brilliant cutback for James Parrott to power into the bottom corner in front of the Holmesdale.

Doc Brown’s XI had it all to do once again, but were given hope of another remarkable comeback when Graham Scott completed his penalty giving hat-trick on 68-minutes. Big John took it and found the bottom corner to make it 6-4. Just a minute later and it was 6-5 thanks to a stunning goal from Brendon Shabani – the Rising Baller’s co-founder danced past 3 or 4 defenders and found the back of the net to make it two in two minutes for Doc Brown’s side.

Doc’s XI had their tails up and were pushing hard to complete another three goal comeback. The Palace Aid crowd were getting behind the team in black, but it was AJ’s XI that were able to give themselves some breathing space through Guvna B’s tidy finish from a tight angle.

The game seemed to be meandering towards a 7-5 finish, yet there was still time for more drama as Palace for Life’s very own Tash Stephens popped up in the box to nod home and set up a grandstand finish!

Doc Brown’s XI flooded forward in search of a dramatic late equaliser, forcing Ashley Inkz into a smart save in the process. Their efforts were ultimately in vain though as Ramz exploited the space left by Doc’s defenders to score his second of the afternoon, sparking wild celebrations on the touchline as Team AJ’s players and coaches mobbed their goalscoring hero.

Assistant Manager Luke Hirst and rapper Ramz embrace at full time

Seconds later the full-time whistle blew and AJ’s XI were crowned Palace Aid 2024 champions following an incredible 8-6 win!

AJ’s XI celebrate their win

Want to relive the action? Head to our 2024 Palace Aid gallery for more photos from the day.

To donate to Palace Aid 2024 and help end youth violence, head here.

28 May 2024

Palace Aid 2024: Gallery

Read More

25 May 2024

Donate to Palace Aid and help end youth violence in south London

Read More

24 May 2024

Thank you to our Palace Aid warm-up top sponsors!

Read More