Scott Banks enjoyed a fine start to life in Premier League 2, scoring a brace for Crystal Palace Under-23s v West Bromwich Albion.
The 18-year-old midfielder's goals meant Palace sat at 2-2 with the Baggies going into the 88th-minute, before Kian Flanagan netted a dramatic late effort. Victory for the Eagles seemed guaranteed but a dying seconds equaliser meant the visitors stole a point from Selhurst Park.
Despite the disappointing result, Shaun Derry's charges could be proud of their arrival as a Category 1 Academy, and Banks expressed his mixed feelings to Palace TV post-match:
"We conceded in the 90th-minute or 92nd, so it’s a tough one to take. All the boys played well. We thought we’d got the result we wanted and then just switched off in the last second - which we can’t do. It’s a tough one to take and feels like a loss.
"It’s a good level. It’s one more step to the first-team from here so it’s never not going to be a good level. [It was] my first experience playing at Selhurst as well, so I did thoroughly enjoy it but it’s just tough to reflect on it positively because it’s so frustrating."
Match report: Crystal Palace v West Brom in PL2 with Benteke and Kelly21 September 2020
Two key positives from the game were Banks' impressive link-up with new signing Alfie Matthews and the experience for talented Development players to compete with seasoned first-team professionals such as Christian Benteke and Martin Kelly.
Banks tried to wrap his head around competing with the Belgium international, and explained his swiftly formed relationship with Matthews.
He said: "It’s a weird one to be running around with this calibre of players, I’m still getting used to it. When you look up and Christian Benteke’s there, he’s such a sought-after striker, it’s strange but I’m enjoying it.
"Alfie’s assisted me a couple of times before. He’s just come in, a great addition to the squad and we’re delighted to have him here. We get on really well."
Finally, the Scotland Under-19 midfielder briefly touched on his ambitions with the club this season, discussing his desire to compete as frequently as possible with the first-team.
"Any opportunity I can get to play in front of the manager and try to impress is all I can ask for," he said. "The players that came in, the standard is unbelievable up there - I’ve got to keep improving to try and get myself in there."
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