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Report & Highlights: Chaotic second-half sees Palace draw with Arsenal

Crystal Palace U18
Marsh 48' 69'
Mustapha 49'
Arsenal U18
Cotcher 45'
Akolbire 68'
Benjamin 88'

Crystal Palace Under-18s shared the spoils with their London rivals after playing out a 3-3 draw on a sunny October morning in Copers Cope. A brace from Zach Marsh and a stunning long-range effort from Hindolo Mustapha weren’t quite enough for the side to claim all three points.


  • Seb Williams comes in for Jake Grante as the only change

  • Derry sees an effort tipped over the bar early on

  • Eastwood deals with attempts from Arsenal’s Rosiak and Oyetunde

  • Palace go close through Derry and Austin

  • Arsenal claim the lead just before half-time via Cotcher

  • HT: Palace 0-1 Arsenal

  • Marsh equalises for Palace 48 minutes in

  • A minute later, Mustapha puts Palace ahead

  • Akolbire drew Arsenal level in the 68th minute

  • Marsh reclaims the lead for Palace a minute later

  • Arsenal level late on through Benjamin

  • FT:  Palace 3-3 Arsenal

U18 Match Highlights: Crystal Palace 3-3 Arsenal

Almost a month on from the 3-3 draw with rivals Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace Under-18s returned to action in the U18 Premier League South.

In the only change to the side, Seb Williams came in for Jake Grante. Charlie Walker-Smith partnered George King in defence, whilst Kai-Reece Adams-Collman slotted in at left-back.

Palace were on the front foot early on as the in-form Jesse Derry challenged Noah Cooper in the Arsenal goal - first from a looping header from a corner and then from a strong effort inside the box that forced him into a reactionary save.

Arsenal’s Michal Rosiak had a long range effort easily dealt with by Billy Eastwood 15 minutes in and the young ‘keeper stood tall to deny Daniel Oyetunde on a breakaway a few minutes later.

Cormac Austin arguably had Palace’s best chance halfway through the first-half. The ball fell to the midfielder on the edge of the box after a corner and he chested it down and struck it on the volley, forcing Cooper into a fingertip save to keep the scores level.

Austin was involved at the other end for the young Eagles, keeping Maldini Kacurri’s effort from an Arsenal corner out with a goal line clearance.

The south Londoners were knocking at the door towards the end of the half, with Derry clipping the bar with a searching ball and Rio Cardines forcing a save from a free-kick, but it was the visitors who took the lead.

Mason Cotcher fired Arsenal ahead on the stroke of half-time, reacting quickest to finish from close range after Arsenal had two efforts on goal initially saved and blocked.

The young Eagles came out and started the second-half as brightly as they did in the first, however this time they made their chances count. Marsh was played forward by Matteo Dashi and the Palace No.9 managed to equalise just four minutes after the restart.

He carried the ball into the box after being played in and managed to guide an effort across an outstretched Cooper which nestled into the side netting for his 10th goal of the season.

Just over a minute later - Rob Quinn’s side took the lead. A misplaced pass from Cooper broke to Kai-Reece Adams-Collman and he managed to keep it alive for Hindolo Mustapha.

The midfielder knocked it forward on his left and rifled home a fierce effort on his right from 25-yards out, finding the bottom corner past a helpless Cooper.

The two-minute turnaround was complete and Palace looked to keep the pressure up. The Gunners, however, managed to draw level just past the hour-mark.

Bless Akolbire capitalised on a misplaced pass while the young Eagles tried to play out from the back and managed to combine with Cotcher to finish inside the box.

Just a minute later, Palace got their noses back in front and it was Marsh once more. A long searching ball from Eastwood found Derry in behind and the No. 11 hooked it across into the path of Marsh - who finished with ease after seeing his initial effort blocked

In the remaining 20 minutes, the north Londoners were in search of an equaliser as the south Londoners had to hold on.

With just two minutes of normal time remaining, Arsenal managed to equalise. Two second-half substitutes combined after Kamari Ryan played a ball which the onrushing Omari Benjamin headed in from inside the box.

A late surge from the young Eagles was in vain as they did not find a decisive goal to claim all three points. The points were shared after seven minutes of stoppage time, meaning that Quinn’s side sit in eighth place in the U18 Premier League South on nine points,

Palace: Eastwood (GK), Cardines, Walker-Smith, King, Adams-Collman, Austin, S. Williams, Mustapha, Dashi (Whyte, 80), Marsh (Redhead, 86), Derry (Omobolaji, 86).

Subs not used: Khoshaba (GK), Elliott.

Arsenal: Cooper (GK), Ferdinand, Kacurri, Brown, Ismail (Benjamin, 62), Rosiak, Akolbire, Copley (Ryan, 75), Oyetunde, Kamara (Sweet, 62), Cotcher.

Subs not used: Rojas (GK), Shuaib.