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U18s Report: Last-gasp Ling header seals third win for young Eagles

3
Akinwale 22' 39'
Ling 90+4'
2
Cleary 17' 77'

Crystal Palace Under-18s secured their third successive win of the season in dramatic fashion after scoring a 94th minute winner against West Bromwich Albion.

Summary

  • Palace start the game looking to build on two wins in two games
  • West Brom make it 1-0 in opening 20 minutes
  • Victor Akinwale levels it up a few minutes after conceding
  • Akinwale heads home to make it 2-1
  • West Brom miss a penalty before half time
  • Half-time: Crystal Palace 2-1 West Brom
  • West Brom equalise with 12 minutes remaining
  • Fionn Mooney with lovely assist for Joe Ling’s 94th minute winner
  • Full-time: Crystal Palace 3-2 West Brom

The confident U18s side started the game against West Brom looking for a third win in only their third league game, whilst the visitors looked to notch their first points on the board following two losses.

The game started at a frenetic pace with Rob Quinn’s side pressing West Brom high, however it was the Baggies’ who had the opening chances.

Reyes Cleary the West Brom No. 9 looked dangerous from the off and in the fourth minute had his shot deflected wide of the post.

Only a few minutes after Cleary’s opening chance, the south Londoners almost took the lead following a lovely passage of play. Fionn Mooney played a nicely weighted pass to an overlapping Tayo Adaramola who stood up a nice cross which Victor Akinwale headed just past the right post.

In the 15th minute there were further signs that Reyes Cleary would pose the Palace defence problems as he looked certain to score but Joe Sheridan came in with an excellent sliding block to keep honours even.

However in the 18th minute, Cleary found the back of the net as he looped the ball into the net.

The Eagles responded well to going a goal down and in the 22nd minute evened things up with a fantastic team move. Kayden Rodney slotted a lovely pass down the left wing which set Adaramola through and the exciting wing back drilled it across the box for Victor Akinwale to smash into the roof of the net from close range.

Palace continued to keep the ball well and looked more confident after levelling and secured a second goal in the 40th minute from Akinwale. Jadan Raymond floated a high ball in from a free kick on the right wing and Ronnie Hollingshead in the West Brom goal came to collect but got nowhere near the ball, allowing for Akinwale to head home unchallenged into an empty net.

Much like the Eagles’ quick response when going 1-0 down, West Brom looked to respond instantly and Cleary won his side a penalty in the 42nd minute after being brought down in the box. Cleary blasted his penalty over the crossbar and the Eagles went in at half time 2-1 up.

The second-half started as chaotically as the first had, in the 50th minute a low cross from Adaramola came in and after a scramble eventually fell to Fionn Mooney who fired narrowly the bar.

Kanye Jobson won the ball for Palace in the middle of the park and threaded a nice pass through to Akinwale as the Baggies’ defence tried to play him offside. Akinwale nearly sealed his hat-trick but Hollingshead made a smart save to keep the score at 2-1.

The Baggies grew in confidence searching for an equalising goal which they would indeed find 12 minutes from time. Layton Love won the ball in the box and squared the ball to Cleary and the striker fired it into the right corner of the net.

Palace continued to press for chances and in the 94th minute substitute Joe Ling scored the winning goal at the death in dramatic fashion.

Fionn Mooney lofted an exquisite cross into the box as the West Brom defenders tried to step up and Ling held his run and headed the ball into the keeper’s bottom right and wheeled away celebrating a great winning goal in added time.

A fantastic performance from Crystal Palace, in what was a competitive game of football, in which they had to be resilient in order to continue their perfect start in the league.

Crystal Palace: Goodman, Barton, Adaramola, Ozoh (Dixon, 85) Sheridan, Jobson, Cadogan, Rodney, Akinwale (Ola-Adebomi, 76) Raymond (Ling, 68) Mooney.

Subs not used: Izquierdo, Lewis-Brown.

West Bromwich Albion: Hollingshead, Williams, Humphries, Phillips, Machisa, Chidi, Tobi (Higgins, 58) Hoard, Cleary, Lamb, Love.

Subs not used: Oliver, Hudd, Hurlock.