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      U18s Report: Heartbreak for young Eagles as Wolves win on penalties

      Crystal Palace U18
      Wolverhampton Wanderers U18

      Crystal Palace Under-18s suffered a gut-wrenching defeat to Wovlerhampton Wanderers in the FA Youth Cup, after losing 5-6 in a sudden death penalty shootout.


      • Rob Quinn made four changes to the side which drew with Norwich last weekend, with Joe Whitworth, Tayo Adaramola, Jack Wells-Morrison and Fionn Mooney coming in

      • Ademola Ola-Adebomi put Palace ahead 9 minutes in after pinball inside the box

      • He nearly found his and Palace’s second moments later

      • Play was intermittently broken up due to minor injuries to players from both sides

      • Palace withstood late Wolves pressure in the final moments of the half

      • Half-time: Crystal Palace 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

      • Palace started the second-half strongly, creating a number of chances

      • Chances were few and far between for both sides as the half went on, until the final 15 minutes

      • Wolves clipped the crossbar, whilst Maliq Cadogan nearly forced an own goal

      • Nathan Fraser equalised for Wolves in the 93rd minute

      • Full-time: Crystal Palace 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

      • Neither side could find a breakthrough in the first-half of extra-time, as many players were suffering from cramp

      • Extra-time first-half: Crystal Palace 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

      • Akinwale came agonisingly close to scoring in the final moments, but his effort went over the bar

      • Extra-time second-half: Crystal Palace 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

      • Penalties: Crystal Palace 5-6 Wolverhampton Wanderers

      Rob Quinn made four changes to the side which were held by Norwich City last weekend, with Under-23 regulars Joe Whitworth, Tayo Adaramola and Jack Wells-Morrison coming in for Owen Goodman, Kalani Barton and Matty Vigor respectively.

      Recent Under-18s signing Josh Addae was the other change, with Fionn Mooney returning to the starting XI.

      The young Eagles had a spring in their step in the opening exchanges, thanks in part to the Palace faithful being in full voice as they welcomed them onto the pitch at Selhurst Park.

      Though Wolves won a corner and a free-kick early on, it was Palace who found the back of the net in the opening 10 minutes. Ademola Ola-Adebomi found himself in the right place at the right time to register his third goal of the season, as the ball cannoned off players in the six-yard box.

      Spurred on by his opener, Ola-Adeombi nearly took matters into his own hands in an attempt to quickly double the lead. The Palace No. 11 skipped past a succession of Wolves challenges as he broke into the box, but he just couldn’t get a shot away as the defence recovered just in time.

      Play was intermittently broken up as the half went on as a number of players from both sides were injured, however Palace still maintained the upper hand. Leading goalscorer Victor Akinwale was a constant threat down the right, linking up well with right-back Kaden Rodney.

      Down the left hand side, Ireland Under-19 international Tayo Adaramola whipped in a ball from the byline that was nearly turned into the Wolves net by their own defenders.

      The final five minutes of the half saw Wolves press for an equaliser, but the young Eagles stood firm. Centre-back Ryan Bartley put in a great sliding challenge inside the box to deny Tyler Roberts, whilst Whitworth did well to collect a dangerous corner under his crossbar.

      Palace came out in search of a second straight after the restart and came close on a number of occasions. Ola-Adebomi was once again at the heart of the Palace attacks - firing just wide with a scuffed shot and also slipping through Fionn Mooney who nearly picked out Akinwale.

      In a similar vein to the first-half, a number of players suffered minor injuries from both sides which meant play was broken up and chances were few and far between until the 75th minute.

      In what appeared to be the final quarter of an hour, the visitors sprung into life and fashioned a number of chances in an attempt to equalise. After clipping the crossbar with a floated ball into the box, Wolves were on the counter through Josh Esen and the striker looked destined to score. He was denied by an excellent save from Whitworth who dived across to turn his effort behind.

      Second-half substitute Maliq Cadogan nearly forced an own goal from Wolves on the counter, after his ball across the box ricocheted off Kandola and just went wide of the post.

      Wolves poured players forward and managed to find a late equaliser through Nathan Fraser. The No. 9 managed to turn in from close range with effectively the last kick of time added on to push the tie into extra-time.

      The recurring theme of play being broken up throughout the game continued into extra-time as players from both sides suffered from cramp. Neither side could fashion any real significant attempts, though Akinwale fired just over the bar late on in the second-half of extra-time.

      Penalties (Palace in bold):

      • Raymond scores (1-0)

      • Griffiths scores (1-1)

      • Wells-Morrison scores (2-1)

      • Keto-Diwaya scores (2-2)

      • Kaden Rodney scores (3-2)

      • Esen’s penalty is saved by Whitworth (3-2)

      • Ola-Adebomi scores (4-2)

      • Lembikisa scores (4-3)

      • Akinwale misses (4-3)

      • Tipton scores (4-4)

      • Vigor scores (5-4)

      • Roberts scores (5-5)

      • Cadogan’s penalty is saved (5-5)

      • Francis-Burrell scores (5-6)

      • Wolverhampton Wanderers win the penalty shootout

      The defeat on penalties means that the young Eagles fall in the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup, however they will pick themselves back up when they return to the challenge at the top of the U18 Premier League South against Birmingham City on Saturday.

      Crystal Palace: Whitworth, Rodney, Adaramola (Vigor 111), Ozoh (Bell 112), Sheridan, Bartley, Nascimento (Cadogan 73), Wells-Morrison, Akinwale, Ola-Adebomi, Mooney (Raymond 86).

      Subs not used: Goodman, Dixon, Barton.

      Wolverhampton Wanderers: Arinbjörnsson, Birtwistle, Kandola, Tipton, Hubner (Keto-Diwaya 86), Lembikisa, Roberts, Griffiths, Fraser (Francis-Burrell 97), Rees (Farmer 66), Barnett (Esen 74).

      Subs not used: Amos, Mabete, Ojinnaka, Esen.