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Match Reports

Report: Palace U21s 1-1 Coventry U21s

12 October 2015


Kick off was delayed by 15 minutes at Tooting & Mitcham's KNK Stadium, as Crystal Palace's development side hosted Coventry City in a home league fixture, but it was still a while before there was any action.

The opening ten minutes saw both sides struggling to keep possession, with a lot of hard challenges going in from either side. Palace's Callum Sturgess took a knock early on in a collision with Coventry's Aaron Phillips, whilst both sides captain's also had a coming together.

Palace skipper Connor Dymond won a 50-50 challenge against City's Ivor Lawton, winning the Eagles a free kick in the process. However, the Coventry man was also hurt in the challenge and had to be replaced by Bassala Sambou inside the first 15 minutes.

The only real, clear-cut chance of the first half an hour came on 27 minutes, when Jake Gray's low cross found Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong in the six yard box, but the Palace winger's strike hit the post and was cleared by the Coventry defence.

Both sides went in level at the break. Despite Palace looking like the better team, neither had really created much in the way of chances.

The Eagles started the second half unchanged, though exciting under-18s star Jason Lokilo did enter the action on 51 minutes. Shortly after Palace took the lead, with Aaron Bissaka finishing from close range.

Substitute Lokilo then played Bissaka in and the Palace forward looked set to double the home side's lead, only to fire narrowly wide from inside the box. The Eagles were in the lead and looking good for it, with Lokilo providing a threat and creativity from the right wing.

Lokilo was involved in the next piece of action too, only this time it was at the other end. The winger raced back to cover as Dion Kelly-Evans broke down the left, but hit sliding challenge was slightly late and he brought the Coventry left-back down in the Palace box. Lateef Elford-Alliyu then converted the spot kick and levelled the scores, with Julian Speroni diving the wrong way.

Coventry's Devon Kelly-Evans rattled Speroni's cross bar from a free kick with 15 minutes to go, but his teammate Ben Stevenson had an effort cleared off the line by Palace's Callum Sturgess.

The visitors then hit the bar again, with Jordan Shipley rounding off a neat passing move by Coventry with a side footed effort. His strike had the beating of Speroni, but cannoned off the woodwork and bounced out for a Palace goal kick.

Coventry continued to press for the winner and nearly got it with a minute to go, but Speroni reacted quickly to deny Elford-Alliyu when the striker was through one-on-one with the Eagles legend.

Palace had a chance to snatch it right at the death, with Jake Gray firing a free kick millimetres over the Coventry cross bar. It proved to be the last action of the game, with the referee then calling time on the 1-1 draw.

Palace XI: Speroni; Wynter, Dymond, Fryers, Sturgess; Pepe-Ngoma, Gray, Hoare (O'Dwyer, 72), Berkeley-Agyepong; Bissaka, Hall (Lokilo, 51).

Subs: Perntreou, Fundi, Breimyr.

Coventry XI: Addai, Phillips, Dion Kelly-Evans, Lawton (Sambou, 12), Ford, Leahy, Shipley, Thomas, Elford-Alliyu, Stevenson, Devon Kelly-Evans.

Subs: Albini, Skuza, Maycock, Whitmore.

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