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Match Reports

U23s Report: Ipswich Town 4-3 Crystal Palace

21 November 2016


Palace were denied a point in Suffolk thanks to George Fowler’s last minute header which swung a seven-goal thriller in Ipswich’s favour at Playford Road.

Having twice held the lead, the Eagles would be pegged back by their opponents on both occasions, and despite Levi Lumeka’s brace and an Andre Coker strike, they would return to London empty-handed.

The game was just five minutes old when Palace took the lead. Randell Williams found himself out wide with the ball and set an inviting delivery into the area for Lumeka to steer past Harry Wright in the hosts’ goal to net his third under-23 goal of the season.

Richard Shaw’s Eagles looked the much brighter in the opening stages and Wright needed to make a smart save to deny Coker from doubling the lead on 17 minutes, but gradually the Tractors Boys began to make an impression, and after Adam McDonnell and Ben Morris went close, James Blanchfield headed home an Andre Dozzell corner to equalise on 27 minutes.

In an end-to-end opening 45 minutes, Morris and Lumeka would go close before half-time, but seconds before the referee brought proceedings to a halt, another corner – this time from Kundai Benyu – allowed Fowler to score his first of the afternoon and put Ipswich ahead.

The game had looked to have swung on a two-minute period in the second half, as on 55 minutes Benyu played in Luke Woolfenden but he missed his one-on-one opportunity, and then soon after Palace were on the attack when Coker dispossessed Chris Smith and fired in his first goal at under-23 level.

Billy Granger then made a terrific stop to deny Benyu from point-blank range when he was picked out by Shane McLoughlin, but with 20 minutes to go Palace got back in front when a brilliant intricate pass by Noor Husin allowed Lumeka to have another sight of goal, and once again he didn’t pass up the opportunity to complete his brace and put the visitors 3-2 ahead.

However the pendulum would swing again and with six minutes to go Morris managed to block a clearance and shrug off the advances of a Palace defender to make it all-square, and in the dying stages another corner would prove to be the Eagles’ undoing as Dozzell’s delivery was powered in by Fowler again, but this time in stoppage-time to clinch a dramatic win for the hosts.

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