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      Report & Highlights: Gibbard at the double as Palace dominate Saints

      Southampton U18
      Crystal Palace U18
      Gibbard 3' 39'
      Casey 20'

      Crystal Palace Under-18s put three past Southampton with no reply, as they recorded their fourth win in a row at Staplewood. A brace from Joe Gibbard, along with another goal for Benji Casey saw the side secure all three points with relative ease


      • Quinn named an unchanged side for the first time this season

      • Gibbard opens the scoring three minutes in with his first goal of the season

      • Palace double the lead 20 minutes in through Casey

      • Agbinone comes close to making it three

      • Gibbard adds his second and Palace’s third just before half-time

      • Agbinone almost picks out the top corner in first-half stoppage time

      • HT: Southampton 0-3 Palace

      • Marjoram goes close early on in the second-half

      • Casey hits the side netting in search of a fourth Palace goal

      • Gibbard strikes the post in the 78th minute

      • In stoppage time, Gibbard is in behind but can't find the hat-trick goal

      • FT: Southampton 0-3 Palace

      U18 Match Highlights: Southampton 0-3 Crystal Palace

      A week on from the convincing 3-1 win against Norwich City, Crystal Palace Under-18s travelled to face Southampton as they entered their final five games of the season.

      Head coach Rob Quinn named an unchanged side for the first time in 2023/24, with the in-form Benji Casey continuing to lead the line.

      Palace got off to the perfect start, taking the lead with their first attempt of the game. Finley Marjoram on the right hand side cut it back across to Matteo Dashi who teed up Joe Gibbard on the edge of the box.

      The captain struck it first time, on the outside of his right boot, with pinpoint accuracy guiding it past a helpless Dylan Moody in the Southampton goal.

      Gibbard’s first goal of the season gave Palace a spring in their step as they continued to dominate the opening proceedings. Southampton had half chances, though Palace’s Billy Eastwood was not challenged.

      A second came just 20 minutes in as the in-form Casey got his name on the scoresheet for the seventh time in five games. A raking ball out from Luke Browne towards the right hand side saw Dashi and Marjoram combine once more.

      The former cut it across to Casey and the Palace No. 9 took a touch to guide it across his body and finished excellently on his left foot.

      The young Eagles were now in cruise control, with a two-goal cushion, and were in search of more. Asher Agbinone came close to making it three as he picked up the ball on the left and raced towards the byline - his attempt to curl it in from a narrow angle only glanced across the face of goal.

      Just before the break, Palace did get their third and it was skipper Gibbard once more. Pressing from the front, he picked the pocket of the Southampton defender as they tried to play out from the back and managed to calmly slot home his second and Palace’s third.

      In first-half stoppage time, Asher Agbinone almost picked out the top corner from 20-yards out for a fourth, but he narrowly missed the target.

      After the break the south Londoners continued where they left off. Marjoram came close after winning the ball back high up the pitch and nearly caught Moody out with an effort across the face of goal.

      Casey was in again once more in the opening 10 minutes of the second-half, though he struck the side netting, as his angle was narrowed by a combination of ‘keeper and defender.

      Southampton grew into the game and enjoyed more possession in the second-half, but it was ultimately too little too late. The young Eagles had the game firmly in their grasp and were going to see it out.

      Gibbard had arguably Palace’s two best chances of the half. The first came in the 78th minute as he struck the post from about 20-yards out. His attempt bounced and bobbled as it beat Moody, before hitting the woodwork.

      In the dying embers of the game, Gibbard was in behind with over 40 yards of space after capitalising on a misplaced Southampton pass back. He managed to cover the ground and round the goalkeeper, though he was falling as he took his strike for the hat-trick and cleared the bar.

      Nonetheless, it was a fourth victory in as many games for Quinn’s side. They maintain sixth place in the U18 Premier League South - a point behind Tottenham Hotspur, two behind Fulham and four behind Arsenal.

      Southampton: Moody (GK), Okunola (Martin, 52), Moore, Dobson-Ventura, Moses-Sesay (Fry, 52), Daley, Pitts, Rohart-Brown, Oyekunle (Dibaga, 60), B. Williams, Ehibhatiomhan (McMullen, 60).

      Subs not used: Upstell (GK)

      Palace: Eastwood (GK), Marjoram, Grante, Browne, Cowin, King, Gibbard, S. Williams (Adams-Collman, 72), Dashi (Lusale, 81), Casey (Redhead, 81), Agbinone (Whyte, 86).

      Sub not used: Hill (GK)