Crystal Palace Under-18s moved to the top of the Under 18 Premier League South after securing a well-earned victory over Southampton on an overcast Saturday afternoon at Copers Cope.
Rob Quinn made two changes to the starting XI which drew with Aston Villa, with Cameron Lewis-Brown and Ademola Ola-Adebomi coming in
Ola-Adebomi nearly opened the scoring early on
Victor Akinwale and Maliq Cadogan came close 11 minutes in
Jadan Raymond put Palace in front 35 minutes in
Palace defended well to stop the Saints from pulling one back before half-time
Half-time: Crystal Palace U18s 1-0 Southampton
The young Eagles came close to doubling their lead through Akinwale and Raymond early in the second-half
Owen Goodman slid in well and followed up with a save to deny Luke Pearce in the 50th minute
The game was broken up by a number of lengthy stoppages after the hour mark
Tayo Adaramola and Akinwale combined well twice, but couldn’t add another
Full-time: Crystal Palace U18s 1-0 Southampton
Two weeks on from the 2-2 draw at Aston Villa the young Eagles were back on home soil in a top-of-the-table clash against Southampton.
Under-18s manager Rob Quinn made two changes to the side, bringing in Cameron Lewis-Brown and Ademola Ola-Adebomi from the start in place of Kalani Barton and Kanye Jobson.
Ola-Adebomi nearly made an impact straight after kick-off, stinging the palms of the Southampton goalkeeper Eddie Beach with an effort in the third minute.
Palace were well on top in the opening exchanges, with Victor Akinwale’s effort from close range palmed behind and Maliq Cadogan’s header from the resulting corner bouncing just over the bar.
The young Eagles looked comfortable on the ball and linked up well across the pitch. Just before the half-hour mark, Fionn Mooney cut the ball across for Akinwale in the middle of the box, but the Palace No. 9 skewed his shot just past the post.
Thirty-five minutes in, Palace got their noses in front. Great work in the build-up from Akinwale and Ola-Adebomi saw the latter setup Jadon Raymond inside the box. The Palace No. 10 danced past two challenges and made no mistake to fire home from inside the six-yard box.
The Saints looked for a way back into the game and did pressure the Palace defence before half-time, however the young Eagles stood firm to keep their lead through to half-time.
Palace looked to double their lead straight after the restart as a number of chances fell to Raymond, Akinwale and Mooney, though they couldn’t break through the Southampton defence.
Southampton looked to hit Palace on the counter five minutes into the second-half, but were denied by Owen Goodman. The Palace ‘keeper did well to deny Luke Pearce with a last-ditch sliding challenge and then follow up with a save moments later.
Akinwale came close to adding a second for Palace on the hour mark, after being picked out by a surging Tayo Adaramola, but the striker headed just over the bar.
The final half an hour of the game was broken up by a number of lengthy stoppages due to injuries across both teams.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, the visitors had their best chance at drawing level through first-half substitute Riley Wright. The striker’s effort went narrowly wide of the post after a Southampton breakaway.
Adaramola went on another trademark run down the left hand side, with five minutes remaining, and picked out Akinwale once more - though his effort was held by Beach in the Southampton goal.
Rob Quinn’s young Eagles safely navigated the six minutes of time added on to maintain their unbeaten run, secure their fourth win of the season, and move top of the U18 Premier League South.
Palace: Goodman, Lewis-Brown, Adaramola, Rodney, Cadogan, Sheridan, Ozoh, Akinwale, Raymond, Mooney (Dixon 88), Ola-Adebomi (Ling 65).
Subs not used: Barton, Izquierdo, Nascimento.
Southampton: Beach, Davis, Carson, Hewlett, Pambou, Squires, Pearce (Chavez-Munoz 74), Bragg, Morgan, Dibling, Ross-Lang (Wright 45+2).
Subs not used: Rodriguez, Lillienberg, Tshaka.