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      U18s Report: Late Akinwale goal secures point against Fulham

      Fulham U18
      Sanderson 71'
      Crystal Palace U18
      Akinwale 90'

      On a grey Saturday morning at Motspur Park, Crystal Palace Under-18s rescued a well-earned point from Fulham thanks to a last-gasp Victor Akinwale goal.


      • Rob Quinn named a strong side, with England U18 international Victor Akinwale leading the line

      • Both sides cancelled each other out in the opening exchanges

      • Owen Goodman made a number of saves as the half went on to deny Fulham

      • Maliq Cadogan came closest to scoring for Palace five minutes before the break

      • Half-Time: Fulham 0-0 Crystal Palace

      • On the hour-mark Goodman made a great reaction save to keep out a volley from Harvey Araujo

      • Fulham took the lead from an Olly Sanderson free-kick 70 minutes in

      • Palace pressed for an equaliser and Akinwale found one in the 90th minute

      • Full-time: Fulham 1-1 Crystal Palace

      After an international break in which a number Palace’s Academy prospects featured, normal service was resumed as the young Eagles travelled to Motspur Park to face the reigning U18 Premier League South champions Fulham.

      Having recorded a come-back victory against the Gunners prior to an agonising defeat against Chelsea, Rob Quinn’s men were facing their third consecutive opponent from the capital.

      Both sides struggled to fashion any real chances in the opening exchanges. Palace came closest after a dangerous ball was played across the six-yard box from Maliq Cadogan, though no one could get on the end of it as it trickled out of play

      Though he didn’t have a save to make in the opening quarter of an hour, Owen Goodman was called into action as he rushed out to deny Olly Sanderson from having an attempt on the Palace goal.

      With 20 minutes on the clock, Jadan Raymond whipped in a dangerous corner to the far post which skipper Joe Sheridan got on the end of. His effort was held by Alfie McNally in the Fulham goal, though the whistle was blown as a Fulham defender went down in the build-up.

      The hosts gained the upper hand as the half went on, enjoying a lot of the ball in the Palace third. Efforts from Imani Lanquedoc and Luc De Fougerolles were saved by Goodman and Delano McCoy-Splatt fired wide.

      Cadogan came closest to scoring for the young Eagles, with just over five minutes left in the half, as he danced his way into the box and fashioned a curling effort that was parried out by McNally.

      Just before the break, Goodman was called into action once more to deny a strong effort from Fulham’s top scorer Olly Sanderson. The teed up effort was brilliantly turned behind as Goodman got two strong hands to it.

      The Cottagers may have had the better chances in the first-half, but thanks to Goodman’s heroics the two sides were level pegging at the interval.

      Much like the beginning of the first-half, the two sides were struggling to find a foothold in the game in the second.

      Palace came close to scoring 55 minutes in as an effort from Jadan Raymond was parried into the path of Victor Akinwale, though McNally recovered just in time to smother the ball.

      It looked as though it was going to be a tale of two ‘keepers when Goodman made an excellent reflex save to deny a Harvey Araujo volley from a Fulham corner on the hour-mark.

      However, this wasn’t the case as the hosts broke the deadlock 70 minutes in through a Sanderson free-kick. The striker curled it in from about 20-yards out.

      Fulham pressed on to double their lead in the final 15 minutes, but Goodman stood firm in the Palace goal to deny efforts from McCoy-Splatt and Michael Olakigbe.

      The young Eagles were down, but they were by no means out as they searched for an equaliser. Cadogan came close, as did second-half substitute Adler Nascimento, though it was Akinwale who found the back of the net in stoppage time.

      The striker was in the right place at the right time to finish from close range inside the box, rescuing a point for Palace as they saw out the five minutes of time added on.

      A win would’ve taken either of the two sides top temporarily, but a draw means that Rob Quinn’s young Eagles remain in sixth place - four points off top spot, with 18 points from their first 10 games.

      Fulham: McNally, Tanton, Benjamin (Antonsson 52), Araujo, De Fougerolles, Dibley-Dias, Lanquedoc, McCoy-Splatt, Olakigbe, Sanderson, Wildbore (Gordon 67).

      Subs not used: Works, Okkas, Parker.

      Crystal Palace: Goodman, Barton (Nascimento 86), Williams (Ola-Adebomi 77), Ozoh, Sheridan, Bartley, Cadogan, Rodney, Akinwale, Mooney, Raymond (Vigor 90+4).

      Subs not used: Ling, Izquierdo.