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Kick off 13:00 (UK)

23 April 2018 Venue Crystal Palace Training Ground Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

Crystal Palace U23
2 - 2
Birmingham City U23

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Match Reports

U23s Report: Crystal Palace 2-2 Birmingham City

23 April 2018

James Daly scored an injury-time equaliser as Crystal Palace U23s capped off a fine league season with a 2-2 draw against Birmingham City.

In the knowledge that they had already wrapped up the Southern Division title, the focus for Palace was now on preparing themselves for the Professional Development play-offs which begin next week.

The Eagles started the brighter of the two teams at Copers Cope and were rewarded on eight minutes when Lewis Bryon fired a bullet header past Rihards Matrevics in the Birmingham goal.

Seconds earlier, shouts for a penalty had been waved away when Sean Robertson went down under a challenge in the box, before Kian Flanagan whipped in a corner for centre back Bryon to score.

Robertson was again in the thick of the action shortly after when he performed his defensive duties admirably to clear a Birmingham shot off the line, before Joseph Tupper saved the follow-up well at the near post.

Birmingham grew into the game in the latter stages of the first half, and were rewarded on the stroke of half-time when Remeao Hutton found space down the right before crossing for Kyle McFarlane to sweep home.

The away side came out firing after the break and Palace were nearly behind when Steve Seddon hit the bar just seconds into the half.

The Eagles regrouped, though, and were soon back on top with Flanagan dictating the play in the centre of the park.

Ten minutes after the restart, the Palace No 10 took the ball round two players before finding Sean Robertson down the right-hand side. His cross was dangerous, but Birmingham were able to clear their lines before Daly could get on the end of it.

Jeffrey Schlupp and Alexander Sørloth were introduced shortly after the hour-mark in place of Robertson and Joseph Hungbo, and the latter was involved almost instantly.

A wonderful ball was whipped in from the right flank by Tyrock Mitchell but the Palace striker's goal-bound effort was tipped wide of the post by Matrevics.

Two minutes later, Sørloth again came close when he was put through on goal but his shot drifted agonisingly wide of the far post.

Birmingham almost took the lead with 20 minutes to play when Charlie Lakin was in a one-on-one with Tupper, but the keeper again saved his side with a superb one-handed stop to put the ball round the post.

Schlupp, making his first appearance in over two months after recovering from injury, provided a real attacking threat for Palace and was nearly on the scoresheet himself with 10 minutes to play when his 25-yard half-volley flew inches wide of the far post.

With five minutes remaining Birmingham looked to have won the game when they netted a second goal against the run of play. Corey O’Keeffe made strides down the right before crossing for Francis Amartey to poke the ball into the back of the net.

Palace were not done yet, though, and ensured their unbeaten streak stretched to seven games when Daly rescued a point in injury time.

David Boateng, a half-time substitute for Luke Dreher, found himself one-on-one with Matrevics, and after his initial shot was saved well the prolific Daly crashed the ball into the roof of the net to earn Palace a share of the spoils.

Palace: Tupper, Mitchell, Souare, McGregor, Bryon, Brown, Robertson (Schlupp 63), Dreher (Boateng 46), Flanagan, Hungbo (Sørloth 63), Daly. Subs not used: Curtis-Henry, Trialist

Birmingham: Matrevics, Hutton, Seddon, Stirk, Redmond (Maxwell 67), Martin, O'Keeffe, Bernard, McFarlane (Amartey 80), Lakin, Lubala. Subs not used: Siviter, Baker, Akers.

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