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      U18s Report: Charlton Athletic 1-0 Crystal Palace

      Charlton Athletic U18
      Crystal Palace U18

      Palace's Under-18 side fell to a narrow defeat against local rivals Charlton as a first-half goal was enough to seal victory for the Addicks.

      The hosts were the more dominant side in the early stages and won a free-kick 25 yards from goal which was floated into the area and a Charlton player was on hand to head past Ollie Webber in the Palace goal after 12 minutes. 

      But Palace almost hit back immediately as Rob Street's excellent cross narrowly evaded the onrushing Joseph Hungbo in the area and eventually the ball was cleared.

      Hungbo was involved just a minute later as Andrew Demby spotted him in space on the wing and played a delightful ball, before the captain beat his man and whipped in an inviting cross, but it was well defended.

      In a scrappy first-half centre-forward Street stood out, and he was unfortunate not to score with two snapshots on the half-volley after he let the ball drop over his shoulder. Some good defending by Jude Russell then prevented Charlton from doubling the lead.

      Palace came out for the second half with much more attacking intent and exerted significant pressure on the Charlton defence. Sean Robertson worked his way into the box and went close with a shot on the turn, before Street saw a superb effort from distance go agonisingly close, but it sailed just over the crossbar.

      They began to play with more freedom and Courtney Watson cut inside to threaten on several occasions, but two efforts lacked enough power to find the back of the net. On the hour mark he was instrumental in his side's best move when he glided across the pitch to open up some space, but opted to play in David Boateng whose powerful effort was lashed into the side netting.

      Charlton were able to resist the pressure and began to play with more confidence as they came back at Palace. Ollie Webber was forced into a smart save before following it up with a stop using his feet.

      As the game drew to a close the Eagles were desperate to find an equaliser and Ryan Hanson took a quick free-kick short to substitute Joshua Malcolm who waltzed past three men and played the ball to Hungbo whose reverse pass to Street enabled the striker to beat the goalkeeper only to see his effort cleared off the line with just four minutes remaining.

      That was to be the last chance for Palace, who battled hard throughout, before Webber was forced into a superb save in stoppage time to keep the score at 1-0.

      Palace: Webber, Russell, Onoabhagbe, Matthews (Malcolm 80), Hanson, Boateng, Demby (Donkin 73), Watson, Hungbo, Street, Robertson.