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Match Reports

U21 Report: Palace 2-0 Ipswich

16 December 2013

Goals from Sullay Kaikai and Dwight Gayle secured a comfortable 2-0 victory for the Eagles' development squad as they saw off Ipswich Town at the KNK Stadium.

With Tony Pulis taking in his first U21 game Gary Issott's strong side impressed in front of the first-team manager, with the red-hot Kaikai continuing his rich goalscoing run before Gayle hammered home a brilliant free-kick with five minutes to go.

Issott had the luxury of naming Gayle, Jonny Williams, Jose Campana and Jonathan Parr as Pulis continues to get to know his squad, and were well worth their victory despite taking 70 minutes to get on the scoresheet.

Palace began brightly and went close within the opening minute. Kyle De Silva jinked in from the right and beat a defender before striking towards goal but was unlucky to see his attempt thump off the post.

It was all the hosts for the majority of the half, and their next chance arrived after 15 minutes. A corner wasn't cleared effectively by the Tractor Boys defence and that allowed Jonathan Parr to take aim but Scott Loach got down well to block the full-back's attempt.

The best chance of the half arrived 10 minutes before the interval. De Silva and Kaikai linked up nicely on the right flank and the latter's low centre found Gayle but despite being six yards from goal the striker couldn't find the target and fired over.

Ipswich showed a little more attacking threat towards the latter stages with Paul Taylor hitting a free-kick straight at Lewis Price and Byron Lawrence shooting wide, but after the restart the Eagles continued to be in the ascendancy and Gayle again went close when De Silva played him in but he only found the side netting.

Taylor was looking the most likely of the visitors to produce a goal and he thumped a shot on the turn after a corner but couldn't trouble Price, but with 20 minutes to go Palace finally found the breakthrough. Kaikai picked the ball up 20 yards from goal and beat a man before seeing his shot take a deflection off a defender and gave Loach no chance to register his fourth goal in the last three league games.

The victory was sealed five minutes from time. Palace were awarded a free-kick from 35 yards out and Gayle stepped up to hammer the ball over the wall and past a helpless Loach to clinch the win and extend Issott's side's unbeaten run to four games.

Palace: Price, Parr, Jerome Williams, Boateng, Inniss, Chambers, Kaikai (Dymond 87), Campana, Gayle, Jonny Williams (Sekajja 85), De Silva (O. Sow 77). Subs not used: Fitzsimons, Wynter.

Ipswich: Loach, Hammond, Mings, Veseli, Clarke, Wearen, Graham, Lawrence (Berkane 75), Taylor, Wordsworth, Adekunle. Subs not used: Marsden, Robinson, Doherty, Timlin, Berkane.

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