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U23s Report: Spoils shared as Eagles undone by late United goal

Crystal Palace U23
2
Banks 11'
Gordon 28'
2
Manchester United U23
Zidane Iqbal 45+1'
Fish 90+2'

On a windy afternoon at Copers Cope, Crystal Palace Under-23s were pegged back late on by a resilient Manchester United side. Early goals from Scott Banks and John-Kymani Gordon were cancelled out by Zidane Iqbal and a stoppage time equaliser from Will Fish.

Summary

  • Paddy McCarthy named a strong side, with Kaden Rodney making his PL2 debut

  • Scott Banks opened the scoring for the Eagles after 11 minutes

  • Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and John-Kymani Gordon came close moments later

  • Gordon managed to double the lead 28 minutes in

  • Zidane Iqbal pulled a goal back for Man Utd on the counter just before half-time

  • Half-time: Crystal Palace 2-1 Manchester United

  • Rak-Sakyi almost adds a third straight after the restart

  • Play was delayed due to injuries to Gordon and Ondrej Mastny

  • Will Fish equalised for United in injury time

  • Full-time: Crystal Palace 2-2 Manchester United

Nearly two weeks on from putting four past Tottenham Hotspur, the Eagles were back on home soil as they welcomed Manchester United to Copers Cope.

Paddy McCarthy handed Kaden Rodney his debut at Premier League 2 level after the youngster’s impressive performances for the Under-18s. He was the only change from the side that dispatched Spurs, coming in for David Boateng.

The Eagles started the first-half brightly. An excellently worked free-kick routine between Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and Nya Kirby 10 minutes in saw Malachi Boateng picked out inside the box, though his header was well held by Ondrej Mastny in the United goal.

Palace had their noses in front moments later Scott Banks netted his eighth of the season. The in form winger was picked out by an excellent long range pass from Dan Quick and fended off two challenging Man Utd defenders before swivelling to finish on his weaker right foot.

Opening the scoring saw an uptick in creativity from the Eagles as they looked to find an immediate second. Rak-Sakyi’s efforts were blocked, whilst Banks saw a free-kick get turned behind for a corner.

Just before the half-hour mark, with the Eagles in the ascendancy, they added a second. Nya Kirby won the ball high up the pitch and fed it into the feet of Gordon. The Palace No. 9 held off a challenge from Will Fish, turned and placed a shot low into the bottom left corner before the ‘keeper could set himself.

With a two goal cushion, chances were free flowing for Palace. Kirby fired just wide after assisting the second, whilst Rak-Sakyi nearly capitalised on a poor touch from Mastny.

As the fourth official raised the board to signal four minutes of additional time in the half, Manchester United quickly broke away after a Palace attack and halved the deficit through Iraq international Zidane Iqbal.

Palace still had the upper hand as the two sides went into the break, but when the two sides emerged for the restart it was the visitors who looked sharper.

With the wind in their favour, Charlie Savage lined up a shot from distance which stung the palms of Joe Whitworth early on. Whitworth was called into action once more on the hour mark to deny D’Mani Mellor.

Play was intermittently broken up due to lengthy injuries to Mastny and Gordon and neither side could really fashion any clear cut chances until late on in the half.

Second-half substitute Alejandro Garnacho caused problems for Palace as his effort from 20-yards out called Whitworth into action with 10 minutes remaining. Banks, Watson and Quick all blocked efforts from United’s attacks as they were literally weathering the storm.

Much like the first-half, United found a goal in added time. In the second of seven additional minutes, Fish reacted quickest to a loose ball inside the box following a corner and levelled for United from close range.

The visitors looked likely to snatch all three points, though Whitworth was equal to a long-range Hannibal effort and Watson did brilliantly to slide in and deny Garnacho deep into stoppage time.

Fish had the final touch of the game, diverting the ball over the bar from almost the same spot where he levelled, ensuring that the points were shared between the two sides.

The draw now means that Paddy McCarthy’s Eagles stay in fifth place in the Premier League 2 Division 1, level on 29 points with United and Spurs.

Crystal Palace: Whitworth, Rodney, Adaramola, M. Boateng, Quick, Watson, Banks (Phillips, 88), Wells-Morrison, Gordon, Kirby (Omilabu, 88), Rak-Sakyi.

Subs not used: Steele, Goodman, Hannam.

Manchester United: Mastny, Wellens (Jurado, 90+5), Fernandez, Fish, Hardly, Savage, Shoretire, Iqbal, Mellor, Hannibal, Emeran (Garnacho, 64).

Subs not used: Vitek, McShane, Mainoo.