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Match Reports

Academy Report: Palace 1-1 Cardiff City

16 March 2015

A younger than usual Eagles academy side held Cardiff City to a draw at Beckenham in their latest Under-18 Professional Development League 2 clash.

Palace boss Ken Gillard named three under-16s in his starting line-up, with 15-year-old Kian Flanagan handed his full debut as well as Callum Sturgess, and fellow under-16 striker Victor Fundi was also given a chance to impress against the Bluebirds, meaning that Palace had more under-16s in their side than second year scholars.

The physicality of Cardiff showed in the opening exchanges, and the on-loan Luke Southwell was called into action in the Palace goal when he pushed a shot from Cardiff's left winger around the post when he cut inside from the flank.

But he was beaten on 28 minutes when Palace twice failed to clear their lines and a cross eluded the defence which allowed a Cardiff attacker to sneak in at the back post and score the opening goal of the game.

A switch to 4-3-3 gave Gillard's boys more of a foothold in the game and eight minutes later Flanagan teed up Andrews who saw a shot well-blocked, before the two combined again to allow the striker to get an attempt off but it was saved by the Bluebirds keeper.

Three minutes before the hour mark Jacob Berkley-Agyepong was introduced from the bench and minutes later he had a hand in the equaliser. After speeding down the left he won a corner, which Will Hoare floated over for Oliver O'Dwyer to rise highest and head into the net.

Palace had the upper hand after that and Aaron Bissaka saw an effort saved after drifting in from the right, and 10 minutes from time Michael Phillips played a brilliant through-ball into the path of Fundi, but a poor first touch allowed the goalkeeper the chance to smother the ball.

There was time for one final chance when Andrews intercepted a loose backpass and found himself through on goal but he drove his shot wide of the mark as Palace had to settle for a point.

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