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      U21s Report: Palace thump Brighton to return to winning ways

      Brighton and Hove Albion U21
      Spong 63'
      Peupion 89'
      Crystal Palace U21
      Balmer 28'
      Ola-Adebomi 36' 37'
      Ozoh 72'

      Crystal Palace Under-21s resumed their Premier League 2 Division 1 campaign in the best possible way by thumping fierce rivals Brighton & Hove Albion 2-4. A brace from Ademola Ola-Adebomi, along with goals from Kofi Balmer and David Ozoh were the difference on the south coast.


      • Paddy McCarthy made two changes to the side, with David Ozoh and John-Kymani Gordon returning

      • Brighton goalkeeper James Beadle was shown a straight red card 11 minutes in for a dangerous last-man challenge on Ademola Ola-Adebomi

      • Kofi Balmer put Palace ahead with a header on the half-hour mark

      • Palace doubled their lead in the 36th minute as Ola-Adebomi capped off a well-worked move down the right

      • Ola-Adebomi doubled his tally and secured Palace’s third a minute later

      • Half-time: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-3 Crystal Palace

      • Owen Goodman pulled off two strong saves to deny Brighton early on in the second-half

      • Brighton pulled one back just after the hour-mark directly from a corner through Jack Spong

      • David Ozoh netted a fourth for Palace in the 71st minute

      • The hosts pulled another goal back late on through Cameron Peupion

      • David Omilabu fired just wide from the spot in the fifth minute of time added on

      • Full-time: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-4 Crystal Palace

      U21 Match Highlights: Brighton 2-4 Palace

      Almost three weeks on from their last outing before Christmas, Crystal Palace Under-21s returned to action in 2023 with a clash on the south coast against fierce rivals Brighton & Hove Albion.

      Manager Paddy McCarthy made two changes to the side, with David Ozoh and John-Kymani Gordon coming in for Danny Imray and Killian Phillips, the latter enforced as the midfielder recently joined Shrewsbury Town on loan until the end of the season.

      The hosts had the better of the chances in the opening 10 minutes, with Luca Barrington firing just wide with Brighton’s first attack of the game, though their advantage was short lived.

      Brighton goalkeeper James Beadle was shown a straight red card in the 11th minute, following a late, dangerous, last-man challenge on Ademola Ola-Adebomi on the edge of the box.

      Palace now had the man advantage, after a short delay for the treatment of Ola-Adbomi, and looked to make it count. Fionn Mooney saw his free-kick from the edge of the box deflected out when the game resumed, while David Omilabu came agonisingly close to putting Palace ahead with a shot that went across the face of goal in the 20th minute.

      Half-way through the first-half, Gordon, who recently signed a new contract extension, put a delightful ball across the box into the path of Ola-Adebomi, though he headed just over.

      Skipper Jack Wells-Morrison floated in a deep corner on the half-hour mark and managed to pick out an unmarked Kofi Balmer at the far post. The Northern Irishman headed the ball back across and managed to pick out the top corner, past helpless substitute ‘keeper Toby Bull in the Brighton goal, giving Palace the lead.

      The Eagles were in the ascendency and raced towards the Brighton end in search of a second. It came just six minutes later with a devastating move down the right-hand side. An onrushing Kaden Rodney was played in behind by David Omilabu and the right-back whipped in a cross to pick out Ola-Adebomi in the box who headed home the second.

      Just a minute later, Ola-Adebommi secured his brace and Palace’s third. The striker found himself in behind after a defence-splitting pass from birthday boy Seán Grehan and managed to coolly slot the ball past Bull from the edge of the box.

      With a three-goal cushion secured, Palace saw out the rest of the half with ease. Brighton did threaten late on in first-half stoppage through Jack Hinshelwood, though a combination of Balmer and Owen Goodman denied his two efforts.

      After the interval, the hosts looked to find a way back into the game, however they were thwarted by a resilient Goodman. The Palace 'keeper, who also recently signed a new contract extension, pulled off two saves in quick succession to deny Jack Spong and Cameron Peupion just before the hour-mark.

      The Seagulls did manage to break through Goodman and the Palace defence in a remarkable way. Spong’s inswinging corner managed to curl all the way in just after the hour-mark, giving the hosts a glimmer of hope.

      Palace’s three-goal cushion was restored just 10 minutes after the hosts found the back of the net. Ola-Adebomi, initially played through by Ozoh, fired a shot on goal that bounced back off the post and directly into the path of the midfielder who made no mistake firing home a fierce shot from inside the six-yard box.

      Peupion managed to pull another back for the hosts in the 88th minute with a curling effort from inside the box, setting up a grandstand finish in the seven minutes that were added on.

      Gordon was brought down inside the box following an incisive Palace breakaway, winning Palace a penalty with barely any time remaining, however David Omilabu fired narrowly wide from the spot.

      After seven minutes of time added on, the referee brought an end to proceedings and Palace came away with all three points. The result means the U21s now sit second in the Premier League 2 Division 1, one point behind leaders Manchester City.

      They are next in action against Sheffield United at Champion Hill in the Premier League Cup on Friday, 13th January (KO: 13:00). Tickets are available for this game from just £2. Click here for more information and to buy NOW.

      Brighton & Hove Albion: Beadle, Offiah, Furlong (Samuels, 45), Turns, Tsoungui, Hinshelwood (Chouchane, 45), Nilsson (Bull, 15), Spong, Peupion, Moran, Barrington (Ifill, 78).

      Sub not used: Jackson.

      Crystal Palace: Goodman, Rodney, Grehan, Balmer, Adaramola, Ozoh, Wells-Morrison, Mooney (Akinwale, 67), Omilabu, Gordon, Ola-Adebomi.

      Subs not used: Izquierdo, Watson, Raymond, Cadogan.