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Match Reports

Academy Report: Palace 1-2 Man United

20 April 2013

Despite playing some great football, Palace's academy side lost 2-1 to Manchester United in a highly entertaining encounter in the early morning Beckenham sunshine.

In a topsy-turvy game which saw two penalties saved and the woodwork hit, United scored either side of half-time to collect the victory, with Reise Allassani netting the Eagles' goal before missing a spot-kick late on.

The visitors started brightly and took the lead after just seven minutes when an Andreas Pereira corner was flicked on at the front post and Nicholas Ioannou nodded in from close range.

After the early boost United threatened to take a stranglehold in the game and nearly went two goals ahead when Sam Byrne saw a shot blocked by Tom King, however the rebound ricocheted off Kiran Khinda-John and clipped the post for a corner.

The impressive Byrne then put the ball in the net but was correctly adjudged to be offside, however the Eagles soon burst into life and Allassani saw a shot just miss the target after ghosting in from the left and firing wide.

Minutes later though he did find the net in similar circumstances when he collected Javen Palmer's ball 10 yards from goal, and after waiting for the United defence to back off  he guided the ball into the bottom corner to equalise after 26 minutes to score against the Red Devils for the second time this season.

Palmer nearly got himself on the scoresheet four minutes later when he raced onto a long ball and used his strength to brush off his marker but fired  into the side netting, however United finished the half stronger and King did well to block a James Wilson attempt before an unmarked Byrne later fired high and wide.

The second half saw a personal battle between Byrne and King develop, and it was one saw the goalkeeper came out on top. Firstly some sloppy defending by Palace allowed Byrne to shoot first-time but it fizzed over the bar, but seconds later he pounced on a mistake from the Palace keeper outside his area but King recovered to tip his eventual shot over the bar.

From the resulting corner United were awarded a harsh penalty for an alleged handball by Luke Croll, but King made a wonderful save from Wilson's attempt from 12 yards to keep the scores level.

Palace went straight down the other end and went very close to taking the lead when Jerome Williams' drive was saved well by Pierluigi Gollini but the rebound fell for Derek Tieku who saw his shot blocked on the line by Ioannou.

However King was finally beaten for a second time on 72 minutes when Pereira fired a powerful free-kick towards goal, and the keeper did well initially to claim it but saw it spill out of his grasp  and land at the feet of Ben Pearson who blasted into the empty net.

The Eagles were given a great chance to draw level again six minutes later when Gray burst into the area and was upended by Gollini for a clear penalty. Allassani stepped up to take the kick but saw his low effort saved in a similar fashion to King's by the Italian shot-stopper as the chance went begging.

Five minutes from time Wilson saw a thunderous strike crack off he crossbar from the edge of the box and Croll saw a free-kick from the same distance just miss the top corner as United clung on to the victory despite a spirited display from Ben Garner's youngsters.

Palace: King, Gordon, Croll, Khinda-John, Williams, Udumaga, Hoare (Egbo 81), Gray, Tieku (Spence 67), Allassani, Palmer.

Manchester United: Gollini, Love, Grimshaw, Ioannou, Evans, Pereira, McNair, Pearson, Daehli, Byrne, Wilson.

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