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Match Reports

U21 Report: Crystal Palace 0-1 Birmingham City

31 March 2015

Palace’s development side saw their six game unbeaten run come to an end against Birmingham City as Reece Brown’s 73rd minute strike proved decisive.

The game was played in extremely windy conditions which ruined the spectacle as the ball behaved unpredictably in the air, and it took 26 minutes for either side to produce an attempt before Brown saw an effort from the edge of the area deflected behind.

It took Palace until eight minutes before half-time to fashion a shooting chance of their own, but they went close when Keshi Anderson squared the ball to Owen Garvan on the edge of the area, and his first-time dipping strike flicked off the top of the crossbar.

Kyle de Silva then scampered down the left and put in an inch perfect cross for Anderson to slide home, but the striker put the ball high and wide under pressure from a Blues defender.

On the stroke of half-time a ball over the top by Josh Cogley allowed Brown to get in behind the Palace defence but David Gregory did well to block with his feet, and despite losing the advantage of wind in the second half Palace nearly scored early on when Anderson tried to sneak the ball past Townsend at his near post but the keeper was alert to snuff out the danger.

Brown was proving to be the main threat for the visitors and he saw a shot on the turn from distance flash wide on the hour mark, and it was City’s turn to hit the woodwork when Charlie Cooper saw a free-kick from an acute angle catch the wind and strike the bar eight minutes later.

But on 73 minutes they did take the lead. Solaman-Otabor battled for the ball with Rodrigue N’Diane down the right and managed to slip past the full-back before cutting the ball back to Brown who drilled it past Gregory and a defender on the line.

Issott’s side could have been level a minute later when Anderson beat a defender to give himself time to shoot from a central position but he blazed the ball over before Birmingham hit the frame of the goal again when Luke Armstrong saw a piledriver come back off the inside of the post.

Five minutes from time Morgan Ferrier used his strength to beat Gavin Gunning to the ball but once in front of the defender could only shoot straight at Townsend, and there was still time for Luke Croll to steer a late header wide from just four yards out as their unbeaten run came to an end.

Palace: Gregory, Gray, Magri, Croll, Dymond, de Silva, Boateng, Garvan, Allassani (Ferrier 46), Adarabioyo (N’Diane 60), Anderson. Subs not used: Pain, Black, Sow.

Birmingham: Townsend, Cogley, Gunning (Guthmy 75), Harding, Hancox, Truslove (O’Brien 55), Adams, Cooper, Solaman-Otabor, Green (Armstrong 75), Brown. Subs not used: Trueman, McFarlane.

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