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      U18s Report: Crystal Palace 3-1 QPR

      Crystal Palace U18
      Queens Park Rangers U18

      A pulsating match saw four second half goals culminate in a 3-1 victory for Palace's Under 18s over QPR.

      It was the young Eagles’ first win in five matches as they remain top of the table. 

      The first-half was tightly contested with both sides largely taking aim from distance. On 32 minutes Palace came closest to taking the lead as Joseph Hungbo’s free-kick was nodded on by Rob Street but Jashaun Chamberlain was just unable to turn it home at the back post.

      Hungbo was again involved after a surging run from Courtney Watson and was able to get a shot away despite being crowded out in the area, but it was well saved by the QPR goalkeeper.

      The two teams went into the break level, but Rangers took the lead on 52 minutes when a powerful shot from distance was parried by Ollie Webber and a QPR player followed it up to tuck home the rebound.

      It was Hungbo who was at the heart of everything Palace did well going forward, and he was unfortunate not to score when his shot was cleared off the line. But 10 minutes into the second half he was brought down outside the area, only to see his free-kick hit the wall, before then being fouled again, this time inside the box. The captain dusted himself down and fired low into the bottom corner to send the keeper the wrong way with the first of three Palace penalties.

      The Eagles should have taken the lead shortly after when a superb breakaway saw Joshua Malcolm do well to set in substitute Francis Baptiste but his shot was smothered and Hungbo fired the loose ball over the bar.

      Webber then kept his side in the game with a succession of strong saves, before another breakaway saw Baptiste link-up well with Malcolm before the wing-back was felled in the area for the second penalty of the game. Hungbo stepped up only to see the keeper pull off a stunning save, but he was able to follow in the rebound to make it 2-1.

      On the stroke of full-time Palace capped off a much-improved second half when the impressive Baptiste latched onto a loose ball, and he too was brought down, this time by the keeper who received a red card. The striker duly dispatched a powerful penalty into the top corner against an outfield player as QPR had used all three substitutes.

      The young Eagles remain clear at the top of the Under 18 Professional Development League Two, three points ahead of second-placed Watford having played a game more.