Ghana defender Jeffrey Schlupp made a brief appearance for Crystal Palace as they ended a run of eight games without a win with a 2-0 victory over Burnley.
James McArthur gave Palace the lead in the 16th minute with a left-footed cross that evaded everyone and went in off the far post and, after the hosts bombarded the Burnley goal without success for much of the second half, Townsend found the top corner with a thumping strike on the 77th to make sure of the points at Selhurst Park.
Schlupp was introduced in the 78th minute as a replacement for Cheikhou Kouyate to help shore up the defence.
Burnley offered little as they succumbed to a fifth defeat in six league games and only the woodwork and some wasteful Palace finishing prevented them suffering a far heavier defeat.
Jordan Ayew meanwhile warmed the bench for the Eagles.
The win was Roy Hodgson’s side’s first at home this season and lifts them to 14th while Burnley remain in the bottom three.