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      Report & Highlights: Palace top PL Cup group with Birmingham triumph

      Crystal Palace U21
      Plange 12'
      Raymond 61'
      Imray 84'
      Birmingham City U21

      Crystal Palace Under-21s returned to the top of Group H in the Premier League Cup after putting three past Birmingham City. In a solid display at the VBS Community Stadium, Luke Plange, Jadan Raymond and Danny Imray all found the back of the net.


      • Powell names the same XI that drew with Feyenoord in midweek

      • Raymond strikes the base of the post, but Plange puts Palace ahead 11 minutes in

      • Reid and Raymond see fierce strikes stopped by Birmingham ‘keeper Mayo

      • Whitworth stops Donovan’s shot at a narrow angle half an hour in

      • Devenny almost rounds off a great move from back to front with 10 minutes to go

      • Ola-Adebomi comes close to doubling the lead just before half-time

      • HT: Palace 1-0 Birmingham

      • Whitworth denies Dixon early on in the second-half

      • Raymond gets a well-deserved goal and doubles the lead on the hour-mark

      • Dixon hits the bar from the spot in the 71st minute

      • Imray seals all three points with six minutes of normal time remaining

      • FT: Palace 3-0 Birmingham

      U21 Match Highlights: Crystal Palace 3-0 Birmingham City

      Five days on from securing qualification to the Premier League International Cup quarter finals with a 1-1 draw against Feyenoord, Crystal Palace Under-21s were back in action in the domestic Premier League Cup as they welcomed Birmingham City to south London.

      Head coach Darren Powell named an unchanged side, with goalscorer Luke Plange continuing up front alongside Ademola Ola-Adebomi and the in-form Franco Umeh.

      Despite the adverse weather conditions, hundreds of Palace fans were out in force at the VBS Community Stadium and their support from the off helped spur the side on.

      The Eagles enjoyed a lot of the ball early on and managed to make their advantage in possession count by going a goal to the good after 10 minutes. A well worked move out from the back saw Joe Sheridan pick out Jadan Raymond and the midfielder went on a surging run through the middle.

      He struck a fierce shot from 20-yards out which hit the base of the post and cannoned back out into the path of Umeh. He cut it back across into the path of Plange and the forward couldn’t miss as he scored his second in as many games.

      Raymond again was testing the Birmingham City goalkeeper Brad Mayo, as was Dylan Reid, though both of their efforts stung his palms and didn’t have him scrambling.

      Birmingham’s best chance of the half came through Romelle Donovan from a narrow angle, however captain Joe Whitworth was equal to it and managed to keep it out.

      A brilliantly built up move from back to front, led by Justin Devenny as he won the ball back in the defensive third almost resulted in the Northern Ireland international scoring with 10 minutes to go in the first-half, but a recovering defender just blocked his effort.

      Just before the interval, Ola-Adebomi controlled the ball well inside the box and held off his marker before getting a shot away that went narrowly wide of the post.

      After the break, the visitors were in search of a way to draw level and nearly did so through Junior Dixon. The former Palace Academy man found space out towards the byline and drove a shot at goal, but Whitworth did well to save it at his near post.

      On the hour-mark, Raymond got a goal his performance deserved. Kaden Rodney slipped it through to Danny Imray out on the right and the full-back raced towards the byline. He cut it back across into the path of Raymond inside the box, and the Palace No. 11 made no mistake to open up his body and slot home on his left foot.

      Birmingham were handed a lifeline after they were awarded a penalty in the 70th minute. Dixon stepped up to take it, but his shot rattled the crossbar and Palace’s clean sheet remained intact. Dixon was then denied by Whitworth after getting on the end of a flick on just moments later.

      Palace put the Blues, who were ironically in their change strip of red, to the sword after the penalty miss by adding a third with six minutes to go. Much like the first two goals, this was scored with another ball cut back across the face of goal.

      Plange played a defence splitting through ball, beating three Birmingham defenders, into the path of Umeh on the left. He darted into the box and cut it back across at full pace into Imray who fired home into the roof of the net.

      The Eagles saw out the remainder of the game following Imray’s goal, which included seven minutes of time added on, to secure all three points and a vital clean sheet.

      The result means that Powell’s side now leapfrog Birmingham to go top of Group H, with nine points from five games. They are now two clear of the blues and three clear of Middlesbrough who have a game in hand.

      Palace: Whitworth (GK), Imray, Sheridan, Rodney, Watson, Reid, Devenny, Raymond (Trialist, 90+2), Plange, Ola-Adebomi (Marsh, 83), Umeh (Mathurin, 88).

      Subs not used: Izquierdo (GK), Francis.

      Birmingham: Mayo (GK), Oakley, Fogarty, Farinie, Olofinjana (Williams, 73), Home, Ellis, Mazwi, Donovan, Hamilton, Dixon.

      Subs not used: Basey (GK), Willis, da Silva, Tattum.