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Match Reports

U21s Report: Crystal Palace 2-3 Huddersfield

7 September 2015


It didn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken at Tooting and Mitcham’s KNK Stadium, with Palace taking a very early lead through winger Jake Gray.

The youngster rounded off a neat move by the home side to take the first chance of the afternoon.

Despite a spell of possession and a number of crosses into the Terriers box, Palace were unable to find a killer second goal. Instead, the visitors made the most of a slick counter attack, which ended with Jake Charles finding striker Flo Bojaj with an out-swinging cross and the forward nodded beyond Julian Speroni.

The Palace veteran had little chance with the angled finish, which levelled the scores with 15 minutes on the clock.

The action continued to be end-to-end, but it was Huddersfield who grabbed the next goal, with Charles getting his name on the scoresheet from close range after a scramble in the box.

Palace raced up the other end from kick off and won a penalty for handball, which captain Connor Dymond stepped up to take. His powerful effort was heading for the bottom corner, but Huddersfield’s Ed Wilczynski got down quickly to smother it and maintain his side’s 2-1 advantage.

Julian Speroni – on his return to action after a lengthy spell on the sidelines – was called upon several times, making a string of impressive saves during the opening 35 minutes. One evoked memories of Wembley 2013, when the Argentine did the seemingly impossible by denying Troy Deeney one-on-one from close-range, but Huddersfield’s Jake Charles was stopped in a similar fashion as he bore down on goal.

There was little the Eagles’ legend could so about Huddersfield’s third. Beaten from the spot by Duane Holmes, despite getting a hand to the youngster’s penalty. Palace trailed 3-1 with half-time rapidly approaching.

Centre-back Curtis Langton made way for attacker Corie Andrews at half time, as Gary Issott changed things around to try to get Palace back into the game.

Huddersfield midfielder Phillip Billing went close to adding a fourth, but his header was scooped off the line by Sullay Kaikai early in the second period. Neither side looked particularly dangerous, excluding that chance, as they both struggled to keep the ball for extended periods.

Aaron Bissaka went closest to grabbing Palace's second on 61 minutes, shimmying from side to side to create some space, before driving a low shot at goal. Wilczynski got down well though and stopped the effort at his near post.

With less than 15 minutes left to play, Dymond gave Palace hope, thundering in a loose ball after an Eagles corner bobbled around the Huddersfield box. The Eagles then enjoyed the lion's share of possession, throwing everything at the Terriers in an attempt to draw level.

The visitors held firm, despite a late chance for Corie Andrews, to take the three points away from south London.

Keshi Anderson and Luke Croll were both denied in quick succession by Huddersfield's Ed Wilczynski, who also did well to thwart Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong from a tight angle.

Palace XI: Speroni, Forte, Croll, Langton (Andrews, 45), Akiotu (Berkeley-Agyepong, 65); Gray, Dymond, Breimyr (Hoare, 65), Kaikai; Bissaka, Anderson.

Subs: Perntreou, Wynter.

Huddersfield XI: Wilczynski, Hanson, Senior, Holmes, Wilkinson, Boyle, Coughlan (Boyle, 73), Billing, Charles, Bojaj, Booty.

Subs: Guthrie, Spencer, Horsfail, Holmes.

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