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Match Reports

U21s Report: Crystal Palace 3-5 Huddersfield Town (AET)

5 May 2015

Crystal Palace's under 21 side hosted Huddersfield Town at Selhurst Park in an early kick off on Tuesday afternoon.

It was the Professional Development League 2 play-off semi-final against the Terriers, as both sides fought for a place in the final, following impressive domestic campaigns.

The visitors broke the deadlock early on, through Jack Boyle's sensational free kick. Palace had considered the set piece on the edge of their area and the Huddersfield forward made no mistake, crashing his effort off the crossbar and into the net to open the scoring.

Palace looked to respond immediately and had a number of half chances to level the scores, the clearest of which fell to Reise Allassani, but the winger's effort was well saved by Lloyd Allinson.

Both sides then had their fair share of opportunities to grab the second, during an end-to-end first half in south London. The Eagles' Chris Kettings was called into action to make a sensational double save just after the half hour mark, keeping the score at 0-1.

It was the Eagles who managed to get the game's second, through Kyle De Silva, who did well to cut inside onto his left foot and drill a low shot beyond Allinson on 39 minutes.

De Silva nearly had a second three minutes later. Keshi Anderson and Jake Gray showed some quick feet and intelligent play to slice through the Huddersfield defence and release De Silva. He looked up and tried to pick his spot, low again, but his shot hit the bottom of the post and went behind. 

The Eagles went in at half-time having looked the more likely to take a lead into the break, but it remained 1-1.

Palace exploded out of the traps after the restart as Gray went close to gifting the home side the lead within a minute of kick off. Allassani's low cross evaded the defence, was just behind Anderson and fell to Gray, who poked it goalward. Allinson did well to deny the Eagles' winger, at the expense of a corner.

On 50 minutes, Huddersfield's Sondre Tronstad thundered home a right-footed effort to gift the visitors the lead, after a nice move saw him get free in the box.

Owen Garvan was the first player to go into the book, for a late challenge on halfway. Minutes later, Eagles forward Sullay Kaikai returned to the Development Side, having spent time on loan at Cambridge United in League Two.

De Silva put the Eagles back on level terms with just over twenty minutes to go, tucking the ball away from close range after a goalmouth scramble. The game continued in the same vein as before, end-to-end, with both sides pushing to take the lead.

A swift move from Palace, with 15 minutes to go, saw Kaikai explode down the left, look to find Anderson, but instead pick out Allassani with his drilled cross. Allassani crashed a shot back across goal, but Allinson got a strong hand to it to deny the winger.

Duane Holmes hit a dramatic late goal, thundering home from close range, to give the visitors the lead for the third time in the game and it looked to be decisive. However, a late strike from substitute Kaikai pulled the Eagles level for a third time, latching on to De Silva's pass and smashing home in style.

Palace's fighting spirit was rewarded, with Kaikai's strike bringing extra time to Selhurst Park. Tiredness had set in for many of the players and the additional period proved a difficult time for either side to create chances to go out in front.

Jake Charles, of Huddersfield, eventually found the back of the net, on the stroke of half time. Finishing calmly after a low cross towards the back post. It meant that the Terriers went in leading at the break.

The home side went straight back on the offensive and put the visitors under increasing pressure, looking to find a way back into the game. A late corner, won through determined work from Ghass Sow, saw Chris Kettings come forward and look to get his head on Garvan's cross. Instead, Huddersfield cleared to Charles, who raced up the other end and finished into the empty net, securing the win.

Palace line up: Kettings, Collins (Kaikai, 63), Magri, Dymond, Scales, Gray, Garvan, Boateng (Sow, 90+1), Allassani, De Silva, Anderson (Bissaka, 84).

Subs: Pain, Phillips.

Huddersfield line up: Allinson, Wilkinson, Senior, Tronstad, Wright, W. Boyle, Holmes, Billing (Coughlan, 70), J. Boyle (Charles, 98), Bojaj, Pyke (Kane, 88).

Subs: Wilczynski, Booty.

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