Palace Under-23s stepped up their pre-season preparations with a battling performance away at south London neighbours Kingstonian, with a 1-0 victory handing Shaun Derry’s side their second win of the week.
- 11 trialists feature for the Under-23s
- A balanced first-half with neither side creating too many clear-cut chances.
- HT: 0-0
- David Boateng slots in a well-worked free-kick move to give Palace the lead after 70 mins.
- Despite Kadell Daniel causing persistent problems for the Eagles, Derry’s side held out for the clean sheet and win.
- FT: 1-0
A slow start for both sides was to be expected due to the difficult windy conditions. However, if Palace were going to find the breakthrough then it was looking most likely to involve Jude Russell and TQ Addy, with the former’s long, diagonal balls to the latter an excellent outlet for the Eagles.
Palace’s best chance of the half came via a counter-attack, when Trialist found himself in a one-on-one with Kingstonian’s ‘keeper, but Rob Tolfrey stood tall to expertly block Trialist’s effort.
The Isthmian League host's striker Daniel’s pace and trickery caused problems for Palace’s defence all afternoon, and Daniel almost earned himself a goal on 27 minutes; the Kingstonian target man drove a shot narrowly past the post, rounding off a delightful Ks move.
Several minutes later, former Palace trainee Gus Sow sped down the right-wing, playing in Jake Hutchings, who floated in a delightful ball for Elliott Buchanan. However, Buchanan’s shot looped over an unfazed Jacob Russell.
Palace began the second-half with greater intensity, with Derry clearly instructing his side to press higher up the pitch. And the tactical tweak almost paid off when Trialist threaded a low through ball into Academy striker Addy, who managed to get a shot away, but the goal-bound effort was blocked by the Ks’ resolute defence.
Both sides continued to play expansive football but it was Kingstonian who were creating the large majority of the chances. Daniel was again the orchestrator, when he played in a well-weighted through ball to Juevan Spencer who drilled a low cross into Palace’s six-yard box, which ended up with Russell tipping smartly over the crossbar.
The Eagles’ backline resilience was rewarded in the final third on 74 minutes. A quickly well-worked free kick was played into David Boateng who shifted it well onto his left foot before curling a well-placed effort into the bottom corner.
Determined to remain in the driving seat and on the front foot, the Eagles continued to press high in midfield, which helped ease the pressure on Palace’s defence. However, Daniel wasn’t done yet in trying to prevent Palace recording back-to-back clean sheets, with Kingstonian’s final chance of the match arriving from a Daniel cross which found Corie Andrews who nodded the ball down and into Russell’s hands.
Kingstonian: Tolfrey, Obsborne, Harrison, Cooper, Hutchings, Kavanagh, Coker, Sow, Buchanan (Pearch, 56), Daniel, Lawson (Spencer, 45).
Crystal Palace Under-23s: Jacob Russell, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Hobbs, Jude Russell (Trialist, 30), Trialist, Giddings, Trialist, Addy, Trialist.