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      Report & Highlights: Wimbledon knock Palace out of EFL Trophy

      AFC Wimbledon
      Davison 3' 16'
      Crystal Palace U21

      An early first-half brace from AFC Wimbledon’s Josh Davison condemned Crystal Palace Under-21s to a 2-0 defeat on a cold Tuesday night at the Cherry Red Records stadium.


      • Three changes to the Palace side, with Ahamada, França and Akinwale coming in

      • Davison puts Wimbledon ahead in the third minute

      • Palace see an immediate response stopped by the ‘keeper

      • Wimbledon double their lead a quarter of an hour in

      • França sees an effort on the edge of the box tipped behind just before half-time

      • HT: Wimbledon 2-0 Palace

      • Ebiowei sees an effort from 25-yards out turned behind on the hour-mark

      • Both sides fail to muster any real chances as the game goes on

      • Umeh forces a save in the 90th minute

      • Sheridan, Whitworth and Grehan stop Wimbledon adding a third in injury time

      • FT:  Wimbledon 2-0 Palace

      Four days on from the 7-1 thrashing away at Leeds United, Crystal Palace’s Under-21s were back in action as they travelled the short distance across south London to take on the first-team of AFC Wimbledon.

      There were three changes to the side as Matheus França, Naouirou Ahamada and Victor Akinwale came in for Roshaun Mathurin, Dylan Reid and Ademola Ola-Adebomi.

      Despite Palace’s strong recent form, it was the Dons who took the lead. A short corner out towards Charlie Lakin wasn’t dealt with and the on-loan midfielder whipped in a cross towards the six-yard box.

      Wimbledon’s No. 9 Josh Davison rose highest and headed in at the first time of asking, ripping up Palace’s initial plans and forcing them to come back from a goal behind in the third minute.

      Darren Powell’s side nearly responded immediately, going straight down the other end as Ahamada picked out Imray with a defence splitting pass. The right-back cut it back towards França on the edge of the box, though his effort was saved by Nik Tzanev in the Wimbledon goal.

      Failing to equalise immediately saw the compounded for the Eagles, as the Dons raced into a 2-0 lead within the opening 15 minutes. A misplaced pass from David Ozoh was seized upon by Davison and the striker doubled the lead for the hosts with an effort that deflected in.

      Palace had it all to do going two goals behind early on, and tried to find a route back into the game. The more experienced Wimbledon side controlled the half, stifling out any half-chances and not allowing the young Eagles any time on the ball.

      With five minutes remaining in the half, França saw a curling effort on the edge of the box well saved by Tzanev at full-stretch.

      After the break, Palace were again in search of a way back into the game and to keep their hopes of progressing to the latter rounds of the EFL Trophy alive.

      The Dons were again proving hard to break through, with the young Eagles seeing a lot of their attempts at breaking through snuffed out or misaligned.

      On the hour-mark, Malcolm Ebiowei stung the palms of Tzanev with an effort from about 25-yards out on his weaker right foot. That proved to be Palace’s only real chance of note on goal until second-half substitute Franco Umeh saw his first-time shot turned behind.

      In second-half stoppage time, the hosts had a chance to add a third, though resolute defending from centre-back duo Seán Grehan and Joe Sheridan, along with ‘keeper Joe Whitworth kept the deficit to just two.

      After five minutes of time added on, the referee brought an end to proceedings and thus sealed Palace’s fate in this season’s EFL Trophy. They’re currently fourth in Group K, unable to make the top two places required to qualify for the latter stage. They have one group game remaining against Stevenage on Tuesday, 14th November.

      Wimbledon: Tzanev (GK), Brown, Tilley (Jennings, 59), Davison (Nkena, 90+5), Ball (Reeves, 59), Bugiel (Al Hamadi, 45), Lakin, Currie (Biler, 59), Sasu, Kalambayi, Ogundere.

      Subs not used: Sandford (GK), Lewis.

      Palace: Whitworth (GK), Imray, Grehan, Sheridan, Adaramola, Ozoh, Ahamada (Mathurin, 64), Wells-Morrison, Ebiowei (Devenny, 63), Akinwale, França (Umeh, 78).

      Subs not used: Izquierdo (GK), Francis, Reid, Rodney.