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Match Reports

Academy Report: Charlton 1-0 Crystal Palace

20 April 2015

The Eagles' under-18 side ended their league campaign in a respectable fourth position but finished with a defeat to their local rivals Charlton, who clinched their third successive league title in the process.

Despite seeing a number of their players drafted into the development squad this season, missing key players through injury and blooding youngsters from the younger age groups, a decent campaign gives Ken Gillard and his management team plenty to be cheerful for ahead of next season.

Once again a youthful side began the game with four under-16 players in the starting line-up trying to ruin the Addicks' party, and they kept their hosts quiet during a tense opening 45 minutes that saw little in the way of goalmouth action.

That all changed in the second half with trialist goalkeeper Chris Haigh forced into a couple of brave saves on the floor early on to repel the home side's attacks, but Palace hit back when Aaron Bissaka scampered down the right and found Andre Coker who hit the side netting.

But on 58 minutes Palace conceded a spot-kick when Sam Woods was adjudged to have pulled back one of their attackers down inside the area, but Haigh was equal to Joshua Umerah's penalty, diving to his right to push the effort away and ensure the Eagles saved penalties in successive games.

There was a great chance for the visitors to steal the lead when a cross by Luke Dreher was met at the back post by Cian Flanagan but he headed across the face of goal and narrowly missed the target, however with 18 minutes remaining they fell behind thanks to a wondergoal.

Umerah picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and made himself some space in which to shoot, and he hammered a left-footed strike into the top corner from range which would ultimately hand them the league title.

That could have all been different though as the Eagles piled on the pressure in the final stages as Corie Andrews blazed the ball over from inside the box when he had plenty of time to compose himself, and Ryan Strain saw a well-struck volley deflected away by Dimitar Mitov in the Charlton goal as Palace suffered defeat to the league champions.

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