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U18s Report: Young Eagles see off Norwich to secure fourth straight win

Norwich City U18
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Crystal Palace U18
Akinwale 36'

On a sunny Saturday morning at the Lotus Training Centre, Crystal Palace Under-18s secured their fourth straight victory thanks to leading goalscorer Victor Akinwale's header from close range in the first-half.

Summary

  • Two changes were made for the young Eagles as Kanye Jobson and James Leonard came in for Joe Sheridan and Ryan Bartley

  • The hosts enjoyed most of the ball and early chances, though they were denied by Owen Goodman in the Palace goal

  • Victor Akinwale headed Palace in front from close range in the 36th minute

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

  • Norwich were on top early in the second-half though Goodman and the Palace defence stood firm

  • Leonard headed just wide after getting on the end of a Maliq Cadogan free-kick

  • Akinwale had chances to add his and Palace’s second late on

  • Full-time: Norwich City 0-1 Crystal Palace

A week on from the resounding 5-0 victory over Arsenal, the young Eagles were back on the road to face Norwich City.

Rob Quinn made two changes, both at the back, to the side which thrashed Arsenal. James Leonard and Kanye Jobson came in for regular centre-backs Joe Sheridan and Ryan Bartley.

The hosts had a spring in their step in the opening exchanges. After recording their first victory of the season against Birmingham City last weekend, they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and looked to find a breakthrough straight from kick-off

Owen Goodman was called into action in the first minute, pulling off a remarkable double save to deny Norwich’s Oscar Thorn inside the box.

The young Eagles hardly had a chance to get out of their own half as the Canaries kept the pressure on in the opening 10 minutes. An excellent sliding challenge from new January signing Joshua Addae to deny Kenny Coker inside the box ensured that the scores stayed level.

After the initial surge from Norwich, Palace grew into the game and started to shape chances of their own. Halfway through the first-half, central midfielder David Ozoh combined well with Adler Nascimento before the latter slipped in the in-form Ademola Ola-Adebomi.

The Palace No. 11 nearly fended off three defenders as he made his way into the box, though he was crowded out before he could get a shot away.

Both sides were passing and probing to find a breakthrough, and it was Palace who did exactly 10 minutes before half-time. Ozoh won the ball high up the pitch and picked out Maliq Cadogan who in turn whipped a dangerous ball into the far-post.

Ola-Adebomi got on the end of it, forcing Reece Trueman in the Norwich goal into a reaction save, which saw the ball bounce up into the path of Akinwale who was there to head in his 14th goal of the season from close range.

The young Eagles were now the ones with a spring in their step as they pushed for an immediate second. Ola-Adebomi glanced an effort across the face of goal, whilst Akinwale was cut out by recovering defenders after flicking it beyond the ‘keeper.

Palace were in the ascendancy, though it was brought to an abrupt end by the half-time whistle.

After the interval, the game settled back into a rhythm of passing and probing, with neither side managing to fashion any clear cut chances.

Second-half substitute Matty Vigor nearly made an instant impact off the bench with half-an-hour remaining, after forcing Trueman into a save. Cadogan, now playing on the right, floated a dangerous free-kick into the box which Leonard headed just wide.

With just under 10 minutes remaining, Fionn Mooney and Vigor combined well to play in Akinwale inside the box. The Palace No. 9 opened his body as he shaped to find the far corner, but his shot was parried away by Trueman.

Akinwale had a gilt-edged chance to secure his and Palace’s second to put the game to bed just before stoppage time, as he flicked the ball beyond an onrushing Trueman, but Solomon Hamilton recovered just in time to deny him.

The referee brought an end to proceedings after three minutes of time added on. The victory sees the south Londoners move into third place, two points off second-place West Ham and three points behind leaders Southampton.

Norwich City: Trueman, Okeowo, Renecke, Hills, Shipley (Hamilton, 62), Wells, Matos, Duffy, Aboh, Coker, Thorn.

Subs not used: St. Paul, Eze, Foyo, Jambang.

Crystal Palace: Goodman, Addae, Cadogan, Ozoh, Leonard, Jobson (Williams, 63), Nascimento (Vigor, 63), Raymond, Akinwale, Mooney (Bell, 90+2), Ola-Adebomi.

Subs not used: Eastwood, Dixon.