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Charlton fan tried to punch Crystal Palace eagle mascot, court hears

Kayla the eagle was allegedly targeted when violence broke out between Charlton and Crystal Palace fans. Credit: PA

A Charlton Athletic supporter attempted to punch Crystal Palace's eagle mascot during a fractious League Cup tie, a court has heard.

Daniel Boylett, a Charlton fan from Eltham, allegedly targeted Kayla, the 25-year-old bird of prey, when rival supporters clashed during the match at Selhurst Park in September 2015. He denies a charge of attempted criminal damage.

Kayla was perched on the forearm of handler Chris Belsey as he walked around the Selhurst Park pitch when the alleged incident occurred.

"As he passed the stand he noticed three or four fans were shouting abuse and one of these three or four lent over the barrier and threw a punch directed at Kayla," prosecutor Daniel Higgins told Croydon Crown Court.

"Mr Belsey is unsure if the punch directed at the eagle had landed.

"He pulled Kayla away slightly to keep her from any further attack and then walked away."

Kayla, who has been Crystal Palace's live mascot since 2010 and has also appeared on a Kings of Leon album cover, emerged unscathed.

Four other supporters - Colin Kitto, 49, of Eltham, Andy McConville, 48, of Rochester, Kent, Billy Cowcher, 32, of Greenwich, and Sam Donegan, 25, of Welling - all face charges of violent disorder, which they deny.

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Permanent deal for Sakho a 'big negotiation' - Allardyce

Mamadou Sakho is on loan at Palace from Liverpool Credit: PA

Sam Allardyce has lauded Mamadou Sakho's arrival at Crystal Palace for giving his side more defensive stability - but admits a permanent deal for the Liverpool defender would require a "big negotiation".

The 27-year-old France international moved to Selhurst Park on loan in the January transfer window shortly after Allardyce replaced Alan Pardew at the helm.

Sakho had not played for Liverpool all season and had to work on his fitness before coming into the Palace side for the 1-0 win over Middlesbrough last month.

He was also in the team which secured a 2-0 victory at West Brom to take the Eagles out of the Premier League bottom three.

Until that point, Allardyce had lamented his side for their inability to keep clean sheets, specifically after they were hammered 4-0 at home by bottom side Sunderland.

But now he has Sakho, as well as fellow new recruits Patrick van Aanholt and Luka Milivojevic, the former England boss reckons his side are much harder to break down.

I think two people on this front, Luka & Mama have given us more defensive resilience.

We are more defensive in terms of the capabilities of looking after the opposition's attacking forces have been improved by those two players and Patrick [van Aanholt].

We have found that we are more difficult to score against which has been one of my first aims, my first targets ever since I first came here.

Mama has played a big part in that, as have Luka and Patrick, and the whole team as a whole are defending better.

It would be a big negotiation at the end of the season if we were to stay in the Premier League.

At this moment in time Mama has chosen crystal Palace to play first-team football, I think he has settled into the environment exceptionally well.

He has worked extremely hard at getting himself fitter because he had not played a competitive game all season and he has shown what a good defender he is, and his capabilities on the ball - in possession he has been exceptionally good.

– Sam Allardyce

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Starting line-ups: Bournemouth v Crystal Palace

Man City ease past Crystal Palace in FA Cup

Man City's Leroy Sane celebrates his goal. Credit: PA

Manchester City eased into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win at Crystal Palace that showed why their hosts are at such risk of relegation.

City's erratic Premier League form has given many the confidence to challenge them but they convincingly outplayed Palace at Selhurst Park, where fine goals from Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Yaya Toure secured victory.

Defeat leaves Palace with only survival to concentrate on - perhaps exactly what they need in the circumstances - but came with the latest reminder of how desperately they need to improve.

Crystal Palace agree fee for Sunderland defender

Patrick van Aanholt is set for Selhurst Park. Credit: PA

Sunderland have agreed a fee which could eventually rise to £14million for defender Patrick van Aanholt with Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.

The Eagles have been given permission to speak to the 26-year-old Dutchman, who had submitted a transfer request, and he will now travel to London in a bid to push through his move.

Black Cats chief executive Martin Bain said: "If a player openly states he does not want to play for our club, then it is clear that we have a decision to make. In this instance and in regard to this particular player, we have done what we feel is right for Sunderland, which will always be our priority."

Palace boss Sam Allardyce confirmed the Dutchman was undergoing a medical on Friday morning.

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