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      Report & Highlights: Palace end the season in style with 3-0 win over Reading

      Reading U18
      Crystal Palace U18
      Agbinone 21' 65'
      Browne 23'

      Two penalties from Asher Agbinone and a long-range strike from Luke Browne gave Crystal Palace Under-18s a comfortable 3-0 victory in their final game of the season against Reading on a sunny afternoon in the Royal County.


      • Quinn makes four changes to the side was beaten by West Ham
      • Palace start incredibly brightly and hit the post inside 30 seconds
      • Trialist gets a shot on target a minute later
      • Agbinone wins and converts a penalty to give the Eagles the lead in the 22nd minute
      • Browne finds the back of the net from long range two minutes later
      • Gibbard almost picks out the top corner but his strike is tipped over
      • HT: Reading 0-2 Palace
      • Palace in control once again, Agbinone is denied at the near post
      • Lusale pokes towards goal but hits the woodwork
      • Eastwood remains alert to parry Barough’s free kick wide
      • Agbinone is brought down in the box again, scores his second penalty of the game just after the hour-mark
      • Walker-Smith is sent off after receiving two bookings
      • Trialist A shoots from long range but has his effort saved by Eastwood
      • FT: Reading 0-3 Palace
      U18 Match Highlights: Reading 0-3 Crystal Palace

      Rob Quinn made four changes to the starting XI that lost to West Ham last time out, with Charlie Walker-Smith, Samuel Lusale, Asher Agbinone and Cormac Austin coming in for Finley Marjoram, Matteo Dashi, Ben Casey and Seb Williams.

      Palace had already secured 6th place in the U18 Premier League coming into today’s fixture but showed no signs of easing off in their final game of the season, almost taking the lead 30 seconds in.

      Some excellent work from Lusale on the right flank saw him beat his marker and fizz in a low cross that Reading defender Boyd Beacroft turned on to his own post.

      Another chance came a minute later for Trialist, who had his shot saved by Harrison Rhone. Joseph Gibbard then forced another save from the Royals ‘keeper with a strike from outside the box as the home side struggled to get out of their own half in the early stages.

      They soon settled into the game though and posed danger on the break, but it was the Eagles that struck first in the 21st minute. Agbinone was brought down in the penalty area by a late challenge from Emmanuel Osho and converted the resulting spot-kick to give the visitors the lead.

      Palace doubled their advantage almost immediately – Luke Browne won the ball back in midfield, played a swift one-two with Gibbard before firing a side-footed effort from well outside the area into the bottom-right corner.

      Gibbard continued to test Rhone from outside the area, forcing him to tip a dipping long-range shot over the bar.

      Arguably the most impressive aspect of the Eagles’ first half was how they were able to frustrate Reading defensively, snuffing out counter-attacks and preventing any clear cut chances.

      The hosts did little to stem the flow of Palace chances after the interval. Agbinone collected a deep cross from Lusale and fired towards the near post but was denied by the boot of Rhone.

      Lusale – who caused trouble down the right flank for the home defence throughout – then came agonisingly close to adding a third, hitting the post from inside the box after linking up well with Gibbard on the edge of the area.

      Another strike from Agbinone was held by Rhone before Reading had their best chance of the game so far – Joe Barough tried to catch the visitors out with a free kick towards the goalkeeper’s side, though William Eastwood was on hand to push it wide.

      The Eagles eventually added their third after Agbinone was once again fouled in the box, with the forward this time tucking the penalty in off the left post in 65th minute for his fifth goal in his last six matches.

      Palace almost scored a fourth when Gibbard slipped past three defenders and fed Casey, on as a substitute, though his close-range shot was saved.

      Reading substitute Verrell George forced Eastwood into only his second real save of the game in the 77th minute before Palace were reduced to 10 players when Walker-Smith picked up a second yellow card shortly after.

      Trialist A came close for the Royals in stoppage time, letting fly from long distance with a strike that was saved by Eastwood, but the Eagles held on to keep a clean sheet and end the 2023/24 season on a high note.

      Reading: Rhone (GK), Osho, Source (Irish, 81), Beacroft, Kanu (George, 45), Sackey, Trialist A, Howard, Barough, Trialist B, Timberlake (Duah, 45)

      Subs not used: Sharlott (GK), Daka

      Palace: Eastwood (GK), Grante, Walker-Smith, Browne, Cowin, Austin, King (S. Williams, 71), Gibbard (Adams-Collman, 71), Lusale, Trialist (Casey, 60), Agbinone (Lameiras, 71).

      Sub not used: Hill (GK)