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      U21s Report: Gordon brace fires Palace into winning EFL Trophy start

      Swindon Town
      Crystal Palace U21
      Gordon 71' 86'

      On a warm Tuesday night at The County Ground, Crystal Palace Under-21s got off to a winning start in their EFL Trophy campaign thanks to a brace from John-Kymani Gordon.


      • Paddy McCarthy made three changes to the side, with Joe Whitworth, Fionn Mooney and Victor Akinwale all starting

      • Play was delayed early on due to an injury to David Omilabu

      • Both sides were evenly matched in the opening half an hour, with chances few and far between

      • Akinwale came close in first-half stoppage time, though he was denied from a tight angle

      • Half-time: Swindon Town 0-0 Crystal Palace

      • Swindon hit the post twice early in the second-half through Roman Darcy and Ricky Aguiar

      • Seán Grehan saw an effort cleared off the line following a goalmouth scramble

      • John-Kymani Gordon capitalised on a misplaced pass from Lewis Ward and curled home the opener for Palace in the 71st minute

      • Cian Harries was sent off for Swindon with five minutes remaining

      • Gordon secured his brace and all three points for Palace moments after the red card

      • Full-time: Swindon Town 0-2 Crystal Palace

      U21 Match Highlights: Swindon Town 0-2 Crystal Palace

      Just four days on from the dramatic 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, Crystal Palace Under-21s travelled to The County Ground to face League Two Swindon Town.

      Manager Paddy McCarthy made three changes to the side which won against Wolves in the league: with Joe Whitworth, Fionn Mooney and Victor Akinwale coming in for Owen Goodman, Killian Phillips and Rob Street.

      The game got off to a slow start owing to an injury to David Omilabu in the opening three minutes. The forward went down inside the box following a rather innocuous challenge, though he recovered to continue after five minutes of treatment.

      Chances were few and far between for the two sides in the first-half. Swindon’s best effort came from distance through a Ricky Aguilar shot, but Noah Watson stood tall to block it.

      Whitworth was called into action once in the half, to deny a tame effort from Tyrese Shade in the 25th minute.

      Palace’s best attempt of the half came deep into seven minutes of time added on. Akinwale was played in behind by an excellent Omilabu through ball, however his shot from a narrow angle was palmed behind by Lewis Ward.

      In a frantic change of pace from the first-half, the two sides came racing out the blocks creating chances at either end of the pitch.

      The Robins came close to opening the scoring on two occasions early on in the second-half. Efforts from Roman Darcy and Ricky Aguiar struck the woodwork following well-worked moves.

      Palace chances initially weren’t threatening Lewis Ward in the Swindon goal, however in the 70th minute it was Ward who handed the lead to Palace on a plate. His misplaced pass fell directly into the path of John-Kymani Gordon, the striker took a touch on the edge of the box and effortlessly curled it into the back of the net.

      The Eagles were in the ascendancy in the last 20 minutes. The goal put a spring in their step as they pressed on for a second to put the game to bed.

      Swindon came close through Aguiar’s long range free-kick with 15 minutes remaining, though Whitworth did well to get across and parry it behind for a corner.

      With five minutes left on the clock, Palace doubled their lead. Cian Harries was sent off for Swindon following a second bookable offence as he brought down Ademola Ola-Adebomi, the resulting free-kick routine saw Omilabu poke it into the path of Gordon inside the box and the centre-forward picked out the bottom corner to secure his and Palace’s second.

      Paddy McCarthy’s side saw off any remnants of a Swindon consolation and managed to secure all three points with ease after five minutes of time added on. The winning start means the Under-21s now sit top of Group E, a point ahead of Plymouth Argyle.

      Swindon Town: Ward, Harries, Baudry, Brennan (Fox, 80), Minturn, Dabre, Darcy (Dworzak, 61), Aguiar, Hutton (Hart, 80), Kanu (Wynn-Davis, 57), Shade (Cowmeadow, 61).

      Subs not used: Brynn, Clayton.

      Crystal Palace: Whitworth, Addae, Grehan, Balmer, Watson, Ozoh, Wells-Morrison, Omilabu, Mooney (Siddik, 62), Gordon, Akinwale (Ola-Adebomi, 75).

      Subs not used: Izquierdo, Vigor, Bartley, Cadogan, Imray.

      (Photo credit: Callum Knowles, Swindon Town)