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Match Reports

Development Report: Huddersfield Town 2-3 Crystal Palace

8 September 2014


A stylish hat-trick from Sullay Kaikai helped Palace's development side register back-to-back wins in the space of five days as they beat Huddersfield Town 3-2.

After seeing off Sheffield United at Selhurst in their previous game, the winger's treble helped defeat the reigning Professional Development League 2 champions in their own back yard to clinch another notable early-season victory.

It took just over 15 minutes for last season's top scorer to make his mark on the game when he opened the scoring in fine style. Connor Dymond won the ball well in midfield and laid it off to the winger, who turned a defender before advancing towards goal from the halfway line. With the defence backing off, Kaikai unleashed a thunderous 30-yarder that cannoned in off the underside of the bar.

The Eagles twice then went close to doubling their advantage from corner kicks, but both times Michael Chambers couldn't quite hit the target after finding space inside a cramped penalty area.

But just before half-time Palace stunned the Yorkshire side by adding a second when Kaikai robbed one of their centre-halves on the halfway line and sped towards goal, beating two defenders before being felled by goalkeeper Lloyd Allinson for a stone-wall penalty. The 19-year-old dusted himself off and coolly converted from 12 yards to put the visitors into a commanding position at the interval.

Having produced a disciplined display during the opening 45, Issott's side would have been disappointed to concede within the opening five minutes of the restart. A corner was swung into the area and under pressure from Joe Wilkinson, the ball flicked off the head of Kyle de Silva at the near post and landed in the net to give the Terriers a way back into the game.

With Huddersfield pressing for an equaliser Palace remained calm and continued to stick to their passing game, and it paid dividends when they picked their opponents off on the break with Kaikai completing his hat-trick with 10 minutes to go. Cutting in from the left, he shot at goal and saw the ball loop over the goalkeeper and nestle into the back of the net to re-establish the advantage.

The hard graft from the Eagles began to take his toll and after Jake Gray and Morgan Ferrier were forced to come off through fatigue and injury respectively, Huddersfield snatched a late goal with five minutes remaining. The ball had seemed to cross the touchline but the referee allowed play to go on and Flo Bojaj pulled a goal back from close range, but Palace hung on to condemn Town to their first defeat of the season.

Palace: Gregory, Ndiane, Binnom-Williams, Inniss, Chambers, Dymond, Sow (Black 85), Gray (Boateng 68), Kaikai, De Silva, Ferrier (Allassani 80). Subs not used: Pain, Magri.

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