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U23s Report: 10-man Palace undone by early Brighton goals

Ferguson 11' 21'
Rak-Sakyi 44'

The 10-men of Crystal Palace Under-23s fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at the AMEX Elite Football Performance Centre.


  • Paddy McCarthy named a strong lineup, giving Tayo Adaramola his first start at U23 level this season

  • Brighton took the lead from the spot through Evan Ferguson 10 minutes in

  • Ferguson scored again to double their lead 10 minutes later

  • Brighton dominated the majority of the half, but Jesurun Rak-Sakyi pulled one back just before half-time

  • Half-time: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Crystal Palace

  • Palace start the second-half brightly, with Rak-Sakyi firing narrowly wide

  • The Eagles created a number of chances as the half wore on, but couldn’t beat McGill in the Brighton goal

  • Tempers flared towards the end as Jack Roles was sent off

  • Full-time: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Crystal Palace

Just over two weeks on from the chaotic 4-3 victory over Tottenham Hotspur, the Eagles were on the road to face fierce rivals Brighton & Hove Albion.

The hosts were on the front-foot right from kick-off, pressing from the front and winning their challenges. Their early pressure was rewarded when striker Evan Ferguson converted from the penalty spot, after centre-back Jay Rich-Baghuelou was adjudged to have handled the ball just inside the area.

Palace struggled to get a foothold into the game as the Seagulls pressed and pushed for a second immediately after going in front. Twenty minutes in, Malachi Boateng did well to deflect an effort from Brighton skipper Marc Leonard onto the crossbar, but moments later Ferguson added another.

Brighton almost added a third a few minutes later through Andrew Moran, though Joe Whitworth in the Palace goal got down well to deny him at the near post.

It looked like the hosts were going into the break in charge, with a two-goal cushion, however Jesurun Rak-Sakyi managed to claw one back for the Eagles just before half-time.

The winger notched his sixth goal of the season after initially setting up Scott Banks with a one-two. Banks’ effort was spilled right into the path of Rak-Sakyi and he made no mistake from inside the six-yard box.

The Eagles went into the break with the deficit halved, and looked to draw level immediately after the restart. Rak-Sakyi and Banks combined once more, with the latter squaring the ball across to Rob Street who saw his effort saved from close range.

An onrushing Rak-Sakyi fired the rebound narrowly past the post. David Omilabu had a flurry of chances just before the hour-mark, forcing Brighton ‘keeper Thomas McGill into a reflex save and skewing a powerful shot into the side netting.

In stark contrast to the first-half, the Eagles were in the ascendancy - creating chance after chance as they looked to find an equaliser.

Tayo Adaramola, Omilabu and second-half substitute John-Kymani Gordon combined well down the Palace left with 75 minutes on the clock to set up Banks, but his effort was palmed away by McGill.

Palace pushed and probed for an equaliser as the game headed into stoppage time. Tensions boiled over and substitute Jack Roles saw red in the closing stages after a bad challenge and an ensuing fracas.

The full-time whistle blew after six minutes of additional time. The Eagles couldn’t find an equaliser in the second-half and now sit in eighth place with nine points in the Premier League 2 Division 1.

Brighton & Hove Albion: McGill, Offiah, Turns, Tsoungui, Furlong, Dicker, Spong, Miller (Peupion 64), Leonard, Moran, Ferguson (Tolaj 75).

Subs not used: Packham, Desbois, Hinchy.

Crystal Palace: Whitworth, Robertson, Rich-Baghuelou, O’Brien, Adaramola (D. Boateng 89), Wells-Morrison, M. Boateng, Omilabu, Banks, Rak-Sakyi (Roles 84), Street (Gordon 71).

Subs not used: Freedman, Trialist.