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U18s Report: Honours even as young Eagles held by Norwich

Crystal Palace U18
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Norwich City U18

On a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon at Copers Cope, Crystal Palace Under-18s played out a 0-0 draw with Norwich City on their return to action in the Under 18 Premier League South.

Summary

  • Rob Quinn named a strong side, with Josh Addae making his first start of the season

  • Both sides struggled to gain momentum in the opening exchanges

  • Ademola Ola-Adebomi and Joe Sheridan came closest to opening the scoring for the young Eagles in the first-half

  • Half-time: Crystal Palace 0-0 Norwich City

  • Palace started the second-half brightly as Ola-Adebomi was denied by the Norwich 'keeper

  • Owen Goodman made a succession of saves to deny Norwich’s attempts

  • David Ozoh, Joe Sheridan and Victor Akinwale came close as the half went on

  • Junior Dixon nearly made an instant impact from the bench in the 85th minute, but he was adjudged to be offside

  • Full-time: Crystal Palace 0-0 Norwich City

Exactly a month on from their comeback victory over Barnsley in the FA Youth Cup, Rob Quinn’s young Eagles were back in action in the Under 18 Premier League South as they welcomed Norwich City to Copers Cope.

The side featured a few changes from the previous outing, with Owen Goodman returning between the sticks, Matty Vigor coming in to the midfield, and a first start of the season handed to Josh Addae.

Neither side could gain a strong foothold in the opening exchanges. Norwich had the first chance of the match in the opening minute - a free-kick from Dubem Eze, around 25-yards out, that was well saved by Goodman.

Palace threatened on the counter a quarter of an hour in. An incisive breakaway down the left from Kalani Barton and Victor Akinwale saw the latter cut the ball across the box for Ademola Ola-Adebomi. The Palace No. 11 got the ball under control inside the box, but fired just wide of the post.

As the half wore on, the rain continued to teem down in south London, making it difficult for either side to play their usual game and build up momentum. Centre-half and skipper Joe Sheridan did well to block a charging Norwich attack inside the box and promptly found himself down the other end moments later, curling an effort just wide of the post after a Palace corner.

A late push from Vigor deep into added time in the first-half saw him reach the byline before his ball across the box was turned behind by Jayden St Paul in the Norwich goal.

The young Eagles came racing out the blocks in the second-half. Fantastic link-up play between Adler Nascimento and Ola-Adebomi saw the striker fire a low driven shot that was narrowly finger tipped away by St Paul.

With the rain starting to ease up, the game almost completely opened up with chances coming thick and fast for both sides. Goodman made a succession of saves to deny an effort from long-range and a counter-attack from Norwich, whilst Akinwale almost forced an own goal at the other end.

As the clock ticked past the hour mark, Palace managed to maintain the momentum and almost found the back of the net through Ola-Adebomi. A surging run down the left from Addae saw him pick out the striker, though his shot was blocked and the followup effort was cleared off the line.

It was effectively all Palace in the final stages of the game: Nascimento fired an effort just wide inside the box, David Ozoh’s fierce shot was parried away by St Paul and Sheridan headed onto the crossbar.

Junior Dixon was brought on with ten minutes remaining and nearly made an instant impact, he initially saw his first shot saved and then managed to find the back of the net, however he was ruled offside.

Palace’s late surge and dominance in the final third of the game was not enough as the Canaries managed to keep them out. Rob Quinn’s young Eagles now sit in fourth place, six points off Leicester City in first.

Crystal Palace: Goodman, Rodney, Barton, Ozoh, Sheridan, Bartley, Addae (Dixon 81), Vigor, Akinwale (Bell 61), Nascimento, Ola-Adebomi.

Subs not used: Izquierdo, Ling, Grant.

Norwich City: St Paul, Jambang, Okeowo, Hills, Renecke, Welch, Matos (Reindorf 83), Foyo, Aboh, Roberts (Coker 62), Eze (Duffy 62).

Subs not used: Trueman.