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Crystal palace

      Report & Highlights: Spirited Palace narrowly edged out by Chelsea

      Crystal Palace U18
      Chelsea U18
      McNeilly 65'

      Crystal Palace Under-18s were beaten by a goal to nil by Chelsea at Copers Cope, despite a strong performance.


      • Three changes to the side, with Finlay Marjoram making his first start of the season

      • Both sides cancelled each other out in the opening half an hour

      • Trialist hit the bar from about 20-yards out in the 32nd minute

      • Hill makes an exceptional double save to deny McAidoo

      • Dashi fired over just before half-time

      • HT: Palace 0-0 Chelsea

      • Derry fires wide from a free-kick and sees an effort blocked in the box

      • Trialist is denied on the hour-mark by Merrick

      • McNeilly puts Chelsea ahead from the spot 65 minutes in

      • Seb Williams is denied by Merrick, while Hill pulls off more strong stops

      • Palace hit the bar again through substitute Casey

      • Hill makes another fingertip save to deny McNeilly

      • Derry has a chance late on but fires over

      • FT: Palace 0-1 Chelsea

      U18 Match Highlights: Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea

      A week on from the defeat to Manchester United in the U18 Premier League Cup semi-final, Crystal Palace U18s were back in league action as they welcomed Chelsea to Copers Cope.

      There were three changes to the side, with Finlay Marjoram making his first start of the season at the back in place of Jake Grante. Cormac Austin also returned in midfield in place of Joe Gibbard.

      There was not much to separate the two sides in the opening half an hour. Chelsea’s Donnell McNeilly fired narrowly wide of the post, while Asher Agbinone saw an effort from distance held by Max Merrick.

      Trialist came close to opening the scoring for Palace, with a vicious shot from about 20-yards out that cannoned back out off the crossbar.

      Chelsea’s best chances of the half fell to Ryan McAidoo, but Marcus Hill in the Palace goal made an exceptional double save to first deny him and then claw away at a second attempt from point-blank range.

      Just before the break in what was a relatively low-action half, Dashi fired narrowly over the bar.

      Chelsea came racing out the blocks in the second-half, testing Hill and pinning Palace back in their own half. Seb Williams made a solid block to deny McNeilly’s goalbound effort.

      On the hour-mark, Trialist stung the palms of Merrick in the Chelsea goal with a fierce strike from the edge of the box.

      Chelsea were awarded a penalty 65 minutes in after Rio Ngumoha was brought down inside the box by second-half substitute Tyler Whyte. Though Hill guessed the correct way, McNeilly managed to beat him from 12-yards out.

      The game opened up after Chelsea took the lead, with chances flowing for both sides. Seb Williams fired straight at Merrick following a good breakaway, while George King denied Genesis Antwi with a solid block at the other end.

      Hill pulled off a fine stop to deny McNeilly’s header from a corner with 15 minutes to go, while second-half substitute Benji Casey nearly made an instant impact for Palace as his fierce effort from the edge of the box crashed against a combination of post and bar.

      Chances came and went for both sides in the final embers of the game. Hill came up trumps once more with a remarkable fingertip save to deny McNeilly from the edge of the box, while Derry fired over the bar with Palace’s final attack.

      Defeat to the Blues means that Palace stay in sixth place on 22 points, three behind Arsenal.

      Palace: Hill (GK), Marjoram (Cowin, 35), King, Jemide, Cardines (Whyte, 59), Austin (Mustapha, 59), S. Williams, Dashi (Casey, 83), Agbinone, Trialist, Derry.

      Sub not used: Eastwood (GK).

      Chelsea: Merrick (GK), Murray-Campbell, Akomeah, Wilson, Antwi, Harrison, Barbour (Idrissi, 83), Russell-Denny, McNeilly, McAidoo, Ngumoha.

      Subs not used: Chibueze, Crampton (GK), Olagunju, Emenalo.