Palace’s under-18s’ ninth win from their last 10 outings came at the expense of Bristol City, with Ryan Hanson and Joseph Hungbo getting on the scoresheet either side of half-time to claim yet another three points.
Paddy McCarthy’s side remain 10 points clear at the top of the U18 Professional Development League table after another good afternoon’s work, with the two strikes taking their total to 36 from just 14 league games.
The opening 20 minutes saw little in the way of goalmouth action, with Antoine Semenyo prodding the ball straight to Oliver Webber before both Sean Robertson and Hungbo fired over the top, but there was a real scare for the Eagles midway through the halfway when Semenyo nodded wide when well-placed to turn home Chris Turner-Williams’ cross.
But six minutes before the break, Palace got their noses in front. Robertson saw a header strike an upright before the danger was cleared, but seconds later the ball came to the feet of Ryan Hanson on the edge of the box and he drove it into the bottom corner to put Paddy McCarthy’s Eagles ahead at the break.
City pressed at the start of the second half and Sam Pearson saw a bicycle kick go straight to Webber, but two minutes later the visitors doubled their advantage when Hungbo struck home a sensational 30-yard free-kick to score his eighth goal of the campaign, pulling him level with Brandon Oddy and Francis Jno Baptiste at the top of the under-18s’ scoring charts.
Despite having a mountain to climb to get anything from the game, City continued to press and gave Palace a few scares towards the end of the game, and they forced a nervy conclusion when two minutes into stoppage-time Vince Harper blasted the ball into the roof of the net to set up a grandstand finish, but McCarthy’s boys saw out the final few minutes to return to south London with yet another victory.
Palace: Webber, Russell, Hanson, Onoabhagbe, Boateng, Matthews, Ossai, Hungbo, Robertson (Jno Baptiste 75), Malcolm (Demby 85), Daly. Subs not used: Luthra, Lynch, Aveiro.