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Crystal palace

      U18s Report: Foxes fall as young Eagles seal fifth straight win

      Crystal Palace U18
      Mooney 33'
      Rodney 78'
      Leicester City U18
      Popov 81'

      On a grey Saturday afternoon at Copers Cope, goals from Fionn Mooney and Kaden Rodney were enough for Crystal Palace Under-18s as they saw off Leicester City to secure their fifth straight victory.


      • Rob Quinn made two changes to the side that beat Norwich, with Vonte Williams and Kaden Rodney coming in for Kanye Jobson and Ademola Ola-Adebomi

      • Leicester enjoyed the ball early on and came close through Will Alves

      • Fionn Mooney put Palace ahead from well struck free-kick 33 minutes in

      • Victor Akinwale nearly doubled the lead five minutes before half-time

      • Half-time: Crystal Palace 1-0 Leicester City

      • Second-half substitute Matty Vigor nearly scored with his first touch on the hour mark

      • With just over 10 minutes remaining, Rodney added Palace’s second

      • Chris Popov pulled one back for Leicester two minutes later

      • Maliq Cadogan came close to adding a third in injury time after a surging run

      • Full-time: Crystal Palace 2-1 Leicester City

      After securing a vital three points away at Norwich to move into third place in the Under 18 Premier League South, the young Eagles were back at Copers Cope in a top of the table clash against fourth place Leicester City.

      Rob Quinn made two changes to the side that won at Norwich, with Vonte Williams and Kaden Rodney coming in for Kanye Jobson and Ademola Ola-Adebomi.

      The visitors, who were unbeaten since mid-September, got off to a much better start in the opening quarter of an hour. Will Alves had the pick of the chances early on, as he made a surging run into the box and stung the palms of Owen Goodman.

      Neither Palace or Leicester could carve a clear cut chance in the opening half an hour, however, after Victor Akinwale was brought down by Thomas Wilson-Brown on the edge of the box, Fionn Mooney stepped up from 20-yards out to find the breakthrough.

      He found himself in familiar territory to where he netted February's Goal of the Month contender against Arsenal, though this time he opted for the bottom corner as he creatively hit it under the jumping Leicester wall.

      The Foxes looked to respond immediately and nearly did so through Will Popov on the counter, though Goodman reacted brilliantly to turn the ball behind at the near post.

      With five minutes remaining in the first-half, Palace nearly added a second through Akinwale. A slick move from inside the Palace half, orchestrated by Mooney, Adler Nascimento and Jadan Raymond, saw Akinwale through on goal though his shot was parried away by Arlo Doherty.

      After the restart, the game settled into a rhythm with both teams passing and probing. Alves came close to drawing Leicester level, though his effort from outside the box was well held by Goodman.

      Williams forced Doherty to tip the ball over the bar, after his looping cross nearly snuck in under the bar, whilst second-half substitute Matty Vigor nearly made an instant impact with his first touch. On the hour mark, he was played in behind after great hold up play from Akinwale, though he fired just wide of the post.

      Palace were in the ascendancy and Williams was at the forefront of doubling the lead once more. The left-back was picked out after an excellent defence splitting pass from Raymond and pushed into the box, but he couldn’t find the finish.

      With just over 10 minutes remaining, Rodney found himself in the right place at the right time to emphatically fire home Palace’s second. The defender, returning to the U18s after making his Premier League 2 debut against Manchester United, capitalised on Doherty spilling the ball from a corner and finished with aplomb inside the box.

      The young Eagles’ two-goal cushion was short-lived as the Foxes responded immediately. A very well taken goal from Popov in the 81st minute inside the box set up a grandstand finish.

      Amidst great pressure from Leicester, Maliq Cadogan broke through from inside the Palace half to find himself one on one with the ‘keeper as the clock ticked in injury time. The winger’s effort was parried away by Doherty and the referee brought an end to proceedings after five additional minutes.

      A fifth straight victory for the young Eagles sees them consolidate third place in the Under 18 Premier League South. They remain three points off leaders Southampton and will travel to face second-place West Ham United on Friday, 11th March.

      Crystal Palace: Goodman, Addae, Williams, Ozoh, Leonard, Rodney, Cadogan, Raymond (Bell, 90+1), Akinwale, Mooney (Vigor, 55), Nascimento (Dixon, 84).

      Subs not used: Eastwood, Jobson.

      Leicester City: Doherty, Grist, Lindsay, Cartwright, Godsmark-Ford, Wilson-Brown, Booth, Cover, Popov, Alves (Kutshienza, 80), Butterfill (Richards, 58).

      Subs not used: Read, Chibueze, Javid.