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      U21s Report: Honours even as Palace draw at Arsenal

      Arsenal U21
      Bandeira 41'
      Crystal Palace U21
      Ebiowei 29'

      On a rainy Halloween evening at Meadow Park, Crystal Palace Under-21s drew 1-1 with Arsenal. Malcolm Ebiowei’s opening goal was cancelled out by Mauro Bandeira as the two sides shared the spoils at the top of the table.


      • Paddy McCarthy made four changes, with Malcolm Ebiowei, Nathan Ferguson, Kofi Balmer and Killian Phillips coming in to the side

      • Ferguson had a looping header held by Hubert Graczyk 20 minutes in

      • Ebiowei put Palace ahead on the half-hour mark

      • Owen Goodman pulled off a great save to deny Zach Awe from 25-yards out

      • Mauro Bandeira equalised for Arsenal four minutes before half-time

      • Half-time: Arsenal 1-1 Crystal Palace

      • Ebiowei hit the bar early on in the second-half

      • Killian Phillips fired across the face of goal on the hour-mark

      • David Omilabu had the ball in the back of the net in the 70th minute, but it was ruled out for offside

      • Reuell Walters hit the post for Arsenal in the 77th minute

      • Omilabu had a chance to win it in stoppage time, but fired just wide

      • Full-time: Arsenal 1-1 Crystal Palace

      U21 Match Highlights: Arsenal 1-1 Crystal Palace

      Over a week on from the last-gasp 3-3 draw with reigning Premier League 2 Division 1 champions Manchester City, Palace’s Under-21s travelled to north London to face current leaders Arsenal.

      Manager Paddy McCarthy made four changes to the side, with first-teamers Malcolm Ebiowei and Nathan Ferguson coming in for Victor Akinwale and Noah Watson. Killian Phillips and Kofi Balmer returned to the fold in place of Fionn Mooney and Seán Grehan who have dropped to the bench.

      Palace were on top in the opening exchanges, with Ebiowei at the heart of the attacks. The winger tried a curling effort from 25-yards out 10 minutes in which just went over the bar.

      In the 20th minute, Ebiowei floated in a corner and found Balmer who headed it back across goal. Ferguson got on the end of the ball back across, but his looping header was saved by Hubert Graczyk in the Arsenal goal.

      Ebiowei almost found the net from a well-worked set piece routine from the edge of the 18-yard box a few minutes later. Skipper Jack Wells-Morrison floated a ball in which picked out Balmer who headed it back across goal for Ebiowei - the winger’s attempt at poking it in was denied on the line by Graczyk.

      On the half-hour mark, Ebiowei got his goal. David Ozoh won the ball back inside the Arsenal final third and managed to play it across the box to Phillips, who in turn picked out Ebiowei in space and he took it first-time on his left foot to finish with ease past Graczyk.

      The hosts looked to find a way back into the game and nearly did so through Zach Awe. The midfielder fired an effort from about 25-yards out and Owen Goodman did well to get across and parry it away.

      Arsenal managed to equalise four minutes before half-time through Mauro Bandeira. The midfielder found space inside the box after picking up a ball from Jack Henry-Francis and managed to pick out the bottom corner with a well-placed shot.

      The two sides were level at the break, but Palace came racing out the blocks at the start of the second-half.

      Much like the first-half, Ebiowei was at the heart of the Palace attacks. He received the ball inside the six-yard box, stepped past Awe and rifled a shot on goal from a narrow angle which rattled the crossbar and bounced back out into play.

      A long-range effort from Ebiowei just before the hour mark nearly caught Graczyk off guard, but the Polish shot-stopper recovered to stop his effort from creeping in under the bar.

      The hosts had chances of their own, though Palace’s defence stood firm to deny them. Excellent defensive work from Danny Imray and a fantastic save from Owen Goodman denied both Amario Cozier-Dubbery and second-half substitute Charles Sagoe Jr.

      Ebiowei played a perfectly weighted through ball into the path of Omilabu 70 minutes in and the Palace number 9 was through on goal and found the back of the net, however his effort was ruled out for offside.

      Time was running out for either side to find a decisive goal, though both of them came very close. Reuell Walters hit the post for the Gunners, while Omilabu fired just wide in the fifth minute of time added on.

      It ended all square at Meadow Park shortly after Omilabu’s effort. The result means Paddy McCarthy’s side move up to third place, a point behind leaders Arsenal. The top seven sides of the Premier League 2 Division 1 are all separated by three points.

      Arsenal: Graczyk, Walters, Foran, Awe, Quesada-Thorn, Smith, Henry-Francis, Bandeira, Marquinhos (Sagoe Jr, 60), Cozier-Dubbery, Butler-Oyedeji (Edwards, 86).

      Subs not used: Rojas, Ibrahim, Cirjan.

      Crystal Palace: Goodman, Imray (Rodney, 71), Balmer, Ferguson (Grehan, 45), Adaramola, Ozoh, Wells-Morrison, Phillips, Omilabu, Gordon, Ebiowei (Akinwale, 71).

      Subs not used: Mooney, Ola-Adebomi.