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Match Reports

Academy Report: Crystal Palace 4-4 Huddersfield Town

18 August 2014


Palace's academy side began their under-18 league campaign in remarkable fashion by drawing 4-4 with Huddersfield Town at Beckenham on Saturday.

With the scores locked at one apiece at the break, a frantic second half saw Palace race into a 4-1 lead before being pegged back by the reigning under-18s League 2 champions, and also required goalkeeper Bradley Comins to save a penalty to earn a share of the spoils.

Ken Gillard named seven first-year scholars in his side as they made the step up to under-18s football, captained by debutant Andre Coker who deputised for the injured Oliver O'Dwyer but despite their lack of experience they started brightly and created a few early chances but fell a goal behind on 34 minutes when Rekeil Pyke opened the scoring for the Terriers with their first real attack of the game.

Unflustered by the setback, the young Eagles continued to press and Corie Andrews went close 60 seconds later, but not long after they did find the net after a nice team-move. 

Comins began with the ball in his area which was played though the pitch before arriving at the feet of Andrews, and he linked up up with Kiye Martin on the edge of the box before it was laid off to captain Coker to drill home.

That ensured the scores were level at the break but the home side would enjoy a fine opening to the second period as they netted three goals in 10 minutes to seemingly seal the victory. Firstly a short corner was played to Coker who beat a man before delivering the ball to the far post where Michael Phillips, another full debutant, was waiting to head the ball past the Huddersfield keeper. 

The visitors were gifted a chance to get back into he game when they won a penalty after a foul in the box from a corner, but Comins produced a wonderful low stop to deny Regan Booty and that would prove costly as Palace went straight up the other end and stretched their lead.

Aaron Bissaka produced some neat control in the box and once again searched for a player at the far post and found Andrews who had the simple task of tapping the ball in from close range, and on 64 minutes it was 4-1 when Martin volleyed another ball from Coker into the bottom corner from 20 yards out to put Gillard's boys in a commanding position.

However a Huddersfield long ball caught the Palace defence napping and Pyke lobbed the ball over Comins to pull one back, and they suddenly found themselves back in the game when Roman Coughlan had a free header inside the area.

And with two minutes to go the victory slipped out of the Eagles' grasp when another long punt forward fell into the path of Jacob Hanson who finished well to complete the scoring in a remarkable game.

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