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U18s Report: Young Eagles run riot in five-star triumph over Arsenal

5
Akinwale 56'
Mooney 61' 84'
Ola-Adebomi 75' 82'
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On a blisteringly cold and windy Saturday morning at Copers Cope, Crystal Palace Under-18s put in a performance of the highest quality in the second-half to blow away their north London rivals Arsenal.

Summary

  • Two changes were made for the young Eagles as Josh Addae and Maliq Cadogan came in for Kaden Rodney and Vonte Williams

  • Ademola Ola-Adebomi initially won a penalty 20 minutes in, though it was pulled back for a free-kick by the linesman

  • Jadan Raymond fired just across the face of goal with Palace’s only other chance of the half

  • Half-time: Crystal Palace 0-0 Arsenal

  • Leading goalscorer Victor Akinwale headed in from close range to open the scoring 56 minutes in

  • Fionn Mooney doubled the lead five minutes later

  • With 15 minutes left, Ola-Adebomi added his name to the scoresheet

  • He secured his brace and Palace’s fourth moments later

  • Mooney secured his own brace and capped off the scoring with five minutes remaining

  • Full-time: Crystal Palace 5-0 Arsenal

Two weeks on from the Ademola Ola-Adebomi inspired comeback victory away at Spurs, the young Eagles welcomed the red side of north London to Copers Cope.

Manager Rob Quinn made two changes to the side ahead of the clash with Arsenal, with new signing Josh Addae and Maliq Cadogan coming in for Kaden Rodney and Vonte Williams respectively.

Despite the wind almost reaching gale force levels in south London, it was far from a whirlwind start for either side. The visitors enjoyed more of the ball early on and fashioned a chance for James Sweet for early on which Owen Goodman in the Palace net dealt with.

A breakthrough goal looked to be on the cards 20 minutes in, as Ola-Adebomi was initially awarded a penalty after being cynically brought down by Mauro Banderia, however the linesman awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box instead.

The young Eagles’ best chance of the half came a few minutes later as David Ozoh won the ball high up the pitch to play in Ola-Adebomi. The striker’s one on one effort was parried away by Alex Kovacevic in the Arsenal goal and just drifted wide of the post.

Fionn Mooney’s excellent footwork down the Palace left saw him skip past his marker moments later to slip Jadan Raymond in, though the midfielder’s left-footed effort went just across the face of goal.

Those two efforts proved to be Palace’s only real chances of the half, as neither side could break each other’s defences down.

The two sides emerged for the second-half with everything to play for and as the heavens opened, so did the game. Centre-back Ryan Bartley found himself on the left-wing in the opening five minutes of the half, though he was unphased as he delivered a dangerous ball into the box which Adler Nascimento headed narrowly wide.

With 55 minutes on the clock, a similar situation unfolded on the left-hand side, though this time it was Raymond delivering a ball into Akinwale and Palace’s leading goalscorer made no mistake. He headed home his 13th goal of the season and opened the scoring for the young Eagles.

Mooney, who scored against Arsenal in the reverse fixture, won a free-kick for the young Eagles on the edge of the box on the hour mark. He promptly stepped up and found the top corner with ease, giving Kovacevic no chance at his near post.

Palace were now fully in control of the game, in spite of the conditions, and looked to add a third. Arsenal did attempt to hit back on the counter through Charles Sagoe Jr, though Owen Goodman stood firm to deny him.

Goodman’s efforts in goal were equally as good as his distribution. After securing an assist for himself in the last outing against Spurs, he nearly notched another as Palace netted their third.

His long ball over the top was flicked on by Mooney and Akinwale into the path of Ola-Adebomi and the towering striker outmuscled Tino Quamina to seal Palace’s third with 15 minutes remaining.

Ola-Adebomi continued his fine goalscoring form, as he secured a brace moments later. A surging run from Bartley saw him pick out left-back Maliq Cadogan, who in turn cut it back across the box into Ola-Adebomi’s path for the fourth.

Despite being four goals to the good with less than 5 minutes remaining, the south Londoners were not finished. Mooney was alert and pounced on Josh Robinson’s poorly controlled touch, allowing him to win the ball back inside the box and finish with aplomb to put the icing on the cake for Palace’s afternoon.

The win means Rob Quinn’s young Eagles leapfrog Chelsea and move into fourth place in the U18 Premier League South, three points off leaders Southampton.

Crystal Palace: Goodman, Addae, Cadogan, Ozoh, Sheridan, Bartley, Nascimento, Raymond (Bell, 85), Akinwale (Dixon, 83), Mooney (Vigor, 85), Ola-Adebomi.

Subs not used: Williams, Eastwood.

Arsenal: Kovacevic, Robinson, Quamina, Ibrahim (Queseda-Thorn, 76), Foran, Bandeira, Sweet, Cozier-Dubbery, Vigar, Sagoe Jr, Sousa.

Subs not used: Rojas, Roberts, Gower, Green.