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Match Reports

U21 Report: Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Crystal Palace

21 August 2014

The Eagles' under-21 side kicked off their Professional Development League 2 season at Sheffield Wednesday's training ground but returned from home the long trip to Yorkshire pointless after a 2-1 defeat.

After narrowly missing out on a play-off place and enjoying a promising pre-season campaign that saw them lose just one of their six warm-up games, hopes were high that this campaign could start with a victory but despite enjoying the better of the play throughout it was the hosts who collected the three points.

The first half was an even affair, with the Eagles restricting their opponents to shots from distance that failed to trouble Chris Kettings too much, and the visitors' first opportunity came when last season's top scorer Sullay Kaikai's shot was parried by Joe Wildsmith in the Wednesday goal and narrowly avoided the on-rushing Kyle de Silva.

More chances came Palace's way as summer arrival Morgan Ferrier missed a one-on-one opportunity before de Silva tiptoed his way into the box but saw his effort blocked by a defender.

However a minute before the interval Palace were dealt a cruel blow when Rhys McCabe curled in a free-kick that clipped the inside of the post before finding the net to give the Owls the advantage at the break.

But eight minutes into the second half the lead was doubled, handing Palace an uphill task to get anything out of the game. A McCabe corner was met by a powerful header by an umarked Will De Havilland and saved well by Kettings, but the rebound was scrambled in by Manny Dieseruvwe.

12 minutes from time there was a glimmer of hope for Palace when Mandela Egbo picked the ball up 35 yards from goal and let fly with a thunderbolt that left Wildsmith helpless as it rocketed into the top corner to reduce the deficit.

Piling on the pressure in the hopes of collecting a deserved point, Reise Allassani got a toe to a low centre in the six yard box but saw it squirm wide, and then De Silva slid the ball the wrong side of the post from a similar position.

With time running out Franck Betra also sealed the victory for Wednesday but the ball slipped wide of the mark, and Palace went straight up the other end where Kaikai saw another one-on-one chance smartly saved by Wildsmith which proved to be the game's final opportunity.

Palace: Kettings, Egbo, Dymond, Boateng, Chambers, Magri, Gray (Black 83), Sow (Allassani 60), Ferrier (Berkley-Agyepong 65), de Silva, Kaikai. Subs not used: Comins, Croll.

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Young, Floro, De Haviland, Sanders, Corry, Croasdale, Hanna, Dieseruvwe, McCabe, Sousa.

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