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Match Reports

U21 Report: Ipswich Town 0-1 Crystal Palace

11 November 2014


Palace's under-21s chalked up their sixth victory from their opening nine U21 Professional Development League 2 fixtures after seeing off Ipswich Town thanks to a Jake Gray goal.

The winger fired home halfway through the first-half to give his side a lead they'd never surrender but the Eagles were also indebted to the woodwork as Darren McQueen and Darren Ambrose struck each post with a penalty and free-kick respectively after the break.

The Eagles nearly got on the scoresheet early on when Kyle de Silva won the ball on the right flank and drove toward goal before forcing Michael Crowe into a low save, but the rebound fell to the on-rushing Fisayo Adarbioyo who was the first man to rattle the post during the encounter with his follow up.

But on 25 minutes the visitors grabbed the opening goal. In similar circumstances to de Silva earlier, Jerome Thomas battled to win the ball back in the Ipswich half and fed his opposite winger Gray, and after taking a touch the teenager drilled the ball under Crowe to hand his side the lead.

It should have been doubled four minutes later when a fine through-ball by Stuart O'Keefe allowed Thomas the chance to get in behind the Tractors Boys defence, but he blazed the ball over from eight yards out instead of squaring the ball to the unmarked Adarabioyo for an easy tap-in. 

That mistake was nearly punished when a clearance by Crowe allowed Cameron Stewart the chance to pounce on some hesitation in the Eagles defence but Lewis Price stayed big to snuff out the chance and keep Gary Issott's side slender lead in tact.

Following the break the Welsh goalkeeper continued to be tested, and after pushing away a blast from Kundai Benyu after a short corner, but he could only watch as a trademark 35 yarder from ex-Palace favourite Ambrose flashed inches wide of his far post.

But the hosts were given a much better opportunity to draw level on 64 minutes when Stewart was brought down in the area by Matthew George, however the Eagles were given a let-off when McQueen slipped as he took the spot-kick and saw his attempt hit the post.

Replacement Sullay Kaikai could have wrapped up the win when O'Keefe slipped the ball into Gray and he pulled it back into the substitute's path but he lashed his shot over the bar, and Luke Croll went closer when he met a corner at the near post and saw his glancing header once again strike the upright.

The goalframe continued to take a battering when seven minutes from time Ambrose hammered a free-kick goalwards and saw it crash off the post, but despite some late pressure from the hosts Palace left Suffolk with the three points to remain second in the table.

Palace: Price, Egbo, George, Magri, Croll, Boateng, O'Keefe (Allassani 81), de Silva (Black 65), Thomas (Kaikai 65), Gray, Adarabioyo. Sub not used: Gregory.

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