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Match Reports

U18s Report: Crystal Palace 1-1 Birmingham City

9 April 2017

Palace's academy side stretched their unbeaten run to four matches after Victor Fundi cancelled out an early opener for Birmingham City in Beckenham.

A bright opening saw both teams create chances, with Oliver Webber making a good save from a Blues striker before Joseph Hungbo let fly from 30 yards and forced the visiting goalkeeper to parry the ball away.

Palace were looking to record a fourth-straight win in the league but their hopes of doing so were made harder on 16 minutes when Tommy Anderson curled in a free-kick on 16 minutes, and the attempted cross evaded everyone in the box and crept inside the far post to give the Blues a fortunate lead.

Andrew Demby then went close to producing a quick-fire equaliser but after some good work by Sean Robertson allowed him to cut the ball back to the midfielder, a fine block by a Birmingham defender snuffed out the opportunity.

But just three minutes after falling behind, Paddy McCarthy’s team managed to restore parity on the counter-attack when Fundi picked up the ball on the halfway line and sped down the left flank, shrugging off the challenge of a defender before seeing his toe-poked effort find the net via a deflection to register his sixth goal of the campaign.

Palace grew in confidence as the game progressed, and although they went into the break level they were on top of proceedings leading into it, and things continued that way after the restart with a couple of good chances falling for Fundi to double his afternoon’s haul.

Firstly, Robertson played him in but despite beating the keeper the striker saw his goalbound shot hacked away by a covering defender, and then after some tough tackling by Bivesh Gurung gave Fundi a sight of goal, the Blue stopper denied him again.

There was one final chance for the Eagles when a free-kick was whipped into a crowded penalty area and landed kindly for Jayden Onen, however he couldn’t get enough power behind his header saw the loose ball scrambled behind as the Blues escaped with a draw.

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