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      Report & Highlights: Magnificent Palace hit seven past Saints

      Southampton U18
      Higgs 44'
      Crystal Palace U18
      Mustapha 13'
      Umeh-Chibueze 38'
      Marsh 53' 66' 69'
      Obou 82'
      Agbinone 87'

      Crystal Palace Under-18s put in a performance of the highest quality as they put reigning U18 Premier League South champions Southampton to the sword. A hat-trick from Zach Marsh, along with goals from Hindolo Mustapha, Franco Umeh, David Obou and Asher Agbinone saw the young Eagles record their biggest win of the season.


      • Jake Grante and Franco Umeh came in place of James Leonard and Asher Agbinone

      • Play was delayed early on due to a serious injury to Southampton’s Nathaniel Boot

      • Hindolo Mustapha put Palace ahead in the 13th minute

      • Umeh doubled the lead five minutes before half-time

      • Southampton pulled one back through Tommy-Lee Higgs just before the interval

      • Billy Eastwood pulled off a fine save to keep Palace ahead deep into first-half stoppage time

      • Half-time: Southampton 1-2 Crystal Palace

      • Zach Marsh restored the two-goal cushion with a tap-in 53 minutes in

      • Marsh added his second just after the hour-mark with another close-range finish

      • Marsh completed his hat-trick in just 17 minutes after scoring a third and Palace’s fifth

      • David Obou got his name on the scoresheet with 10 minutes remaining

      • Second-half substitute Asher Agbinone completed the rout by scoring the seventh before stoppage time

      • Full-time: Southampton 1-7 Crystal Palace

      U18 Match Highlights: Southampton 1-7 Palace

      Two weeks on from the comprehensive 5-1 thumping of Leicester City, Crystal Palace Under-18s were back in action as they travelled to the south coast to face Southampton.

      Manager Rob Quinn made two changes to the side, with Jake Grante returning to the side in place of James Leonard at the back and Franco Umeh starting in place of Asher Agbinone who dropped to the bench.

      Play was delayed early on at the start of the game for about 10 minutes due to a serious injury to Southampton’s Nathaniel Boot. The defender was in bad shape, but managed to walk off the pitch with the help of the physios and medics.

      Shortly after the delay in play, Palace took the lead. Decisive work from goalkeeper Billy Eastwood in the earlier phase of play saw him charging out from his box in a last-ditch effort to clear the ball from a Saints attack.

      January signing Franco Umeh doubled the lead for the young Eagles just before half-time. A switch of play from fellow recent signing Dylan Reid saw him pick out Finley Marjoram on the right-hand side. The right-back combined well with Umeh as the pair darted into the box, Umeh received the ball back from Marjoram and managed to finish with ease past Adil Mohamed in the Southampton goal.

      Palace looked as though they would go into the break two goals to the good, but the hosts managed to pull one back just before the break. Tommy-Lee Higgs found space inside the box as the ball pinged around and found the back of the net to halve the deficit for Southampton.

      After the break, the young Eagles looked to build on their solid first-half performance and quickly managed to restore their two-goal cushion. Pressing from the front saw Mustapha win the ball back inside the Southampton box from a goal-kick and he squared it back across for Marsh to tap home from close range.

      Palace were not resting on their laurels after restoring the two-goal cushion, they pushed on in search of more. Once again, pressing from the front saw Mustapha win the ball back on the edge of the box and it fell kindly into the path of Marsh to finish past Mohamed.

      Marsh completed his hat-trick in 17 second-half minutes, adding a third shortly after his second. Again, Palace’s press from the front proved too much for Southampton to deal with as Obou and Marsh won the ball back high up the pitch. The former saw his shot saved onto the post, while the latter was in the right place at the right time to seal his hat-trick and Palace’s fifth.

      With just under 10 minutes of normal time remaining, the young Eagles added a sixth. David Obou, who came close earlier in the game with efforts that went narrowly wide, finally added his name to the scoresheet. Second-half substitute Asher Agbinbone raced into the box and fired a shot goal, which was saved, but Obou was there to turn in the rebound for his goal.

      It was Agbinone who added seventh to complete the rout just a few minutes later. Mustapha once again got stuck in trying to win the ball back and in doing so he found the returning Adler Nascimento on the left. The winger played an inch-perfect ball into the path of Agbinone and he calmly notched the seventh and final goal of the game.

      The referee brought an end to proceedings after two minutes of time added on to confirm the biggest win of the season for the young Eagles. They still remain in second place with three more games to play, behind champions-elect West Ham United and three points clear of Fulham.

      Southampton: Mohamed (GK), Boot (Chavez-Muñoz, 8), Davies (Evans, 45), Edmondson, Dobson-Ventura, Lett, Andrews, Squires, Bailey (Prescott 45), Higgs, Merry.

      Subs not used: Jeffries (GK), Hartness.

      Crystal Palace: Eastwood (GK), Marjoram, Jemide, Grante (Cardines, 56), Williams, Bell, Reid (Austin, 75), Mustapha, Obou, Marsh (Nascimento, 75), Umeh (Agbinone, 56).

      Subs not used: Hill (GK).