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      U18s Report: Resilient Palace victorious over Villa

      Crystal Palace U18
      Marsh 16'
      Rieno Socoliche 58'
      Aston Villa U18
      Lutz 84'

      Crystal Palace Under-18s made it two wins on the bounce with a resilient defensive performance against Aston Villa on a cold Saturday morning at Copers Cope. A tidy finish from Zach Marsh, along with a second half strike from in-form Basilio Socoliche saw Palace deservedly pick up the points.


      • Rob Quinn made one change to the starting XI
      • Mofe Jemide cleared a shot off the line in the third minute
      • Asher Agbinone hit the bar with a powerful effort just moments later
      • Palace took the lead in the 16th minute through Zach Marsh
      • Play was broken up by a number of injuries for both sides
      • Half-time: Crystal Palace 1-0 Aston Villa
      • Villa started second half strongly
      • Socoliche scored Palace's second in the 58th minute
      • Izquierdo made a string of good second half saves
      • Charlie Lutz pulled one back for Villa in the 84th minute
      • Palace's strong defending saw them through nine minutes of added time
      • Full-time: Crystal Palace 2-1 Aston Villa
      U18 Match Highlights: Palace 2-1 Villa

      After a resounding 4-0 away win against Fulham, Crystal Palace Under-18s were back at the Academy for a home game against Aston Villa after a two-week break.

      There was only one change for the young Eagles as defender Finley Marjoram came in for his first start for the U18s, replacing Vonnte Williams.

      Palace had an early scare in the third minute though Mofe Jemide prevented a Villa goal with an acrobatic goal-line clearance, and quickly found themselves with a chance of their own through Asher Agbinone, who cut in from the left and curled a shot towards goal that hit the crossbar.

      Fifteen minutes in, Palace opened the scoring. Marjoram chalked an impressive assist on his first start - winning the ball in the midfield and playing it across the box to striker Zach Marsh, who neatly finished past James Wright in the Villa net.

      The rest of the first-half saw few chances, the best one being through Basilio Socoliche who was picked out by captain Freddie Bell at the back post with a nice cross, but was unable to find the finish.

      It was Villa who started the second half strongly, second-half substitute Charlie Lutz raced through on goal and forced a good save from Jackson Izquierdo.

      Palace doubled their lead in the 58th minute, with Marsh taking the ball in behind the Villa defence with a great run, before squaring it to Socoliche who rifled it into the roof of the net - scoring his third goal in two games.

      There were limited chances for both teams again after the second goal. Jayden Barber picked out Rory Wilson for Villa in the 73rd minute, but the forward headed wide.

      Just a few minutes later Villa had a second chance, but Izquierdo made yet another good save, preventing Wilson from scoring. Palace had a flurry of chances going into the final ten minutes, with substitute Junior Dixon and Cormac Austin both trying their luck.

      Unfortunately, it was the away side who got one back through Lutz, who raced onto a long ball from Omari Kellyman and slotted into the Palace net.

      There were nine minutes of added time after a number of second-half stoppages for injuries, which saw some good Palace chances going unrewarded. Dixon saw off three Villa players before playing in Bell - who couldn't find the third goal - before having a chance of his own in the 96th minute, but again was unlucky not to score.

      After a solid defensive display in the final minutes, the young Eagles held out for a well-deserved win.The win sees the U18s remain in second place, three points clear of third-place Chelsea.

      Crystal Palace: Izquierdo, Marjoram, Grante, Jemide, Cardines, Austin, Bell, Gibbard, Socoliche (Mustapha, 90+2), Marsh, Agbinone (Dixon, 76)

      Subs not used: Barton, Shala, Williams

      Aston Villa: Wright, Barber, Softley, Smith, Rhoades (Munroe, 45), Mitchell, Onuchukwu (Lutz, 45), Barnes (Alcock, 45), Wilson, Kellyman, Simpson (Pavey, 80)

      Subs not used: Hammond