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Crystal palace

      U23s Report: Eagles edged out in cagey clash against the Hammers

      West Ham United U23
      Alese 45+2'
      Crystal Palace U23

      Crystal Palace Under-23s narrowly lost out to a resilient West Ham United side on a cold Friday evening at Rush Green.


      • Paddy McCarthy named an unchanged XI from the side that narrowly lost out against PL2 leaders Manchester City

      • Both teams were equal in the opening exchanges

      • Jay Rich-Baghuelou dragged a shot narrowly wide 30 minutes in

      • Reece Hannam’s effort moments later was deflected into the ‘keeper’s path

      • West Ham took the lead on the stroke of half-time through skipper Ajibola Alese

      • Half-time: West Ham United 1-0 Crystal Palace

      • Rob Street almost levelled it for Palace straight after the restart

      • Jesurun Rak-Sakyi’s near-post effort on the hour mark couldn’t sneak past the ‘keeper

      • Sonny Perkins hit the bar for West Ham late on

      • Full-time: West Ham United 1-0 Crystal Palace

      Six days on from a tough test against the reigning Premier League 2 Division 1 champions Manchester City, Palace were on the road again to face West Ham United.

      The two sides were evenly matched in the opening exchanges, with chances few and far between in the opening 20 minutes.

      The hosts had the first notable chance of the match in the 21st minute through Amadou Diallo. The West Ham winger saw his shot on goal charged down by Palace’s Jay Rich-Baghuelou.

      Rich-Baghuelou found himself in the West Ham box 10 minutes later as Rob Street headed a Reece Hannam cross into his path. The Australian centre-back drilled a shot at goal, but it was narrowly wide of the post.

      Moments later, Joe Whitworth was called into action as he got down low to his right to save a driven effort from Armstrong Okoflex.

      A quick and incisive move saw Hannam free on the edge of the box seconds after Whitworth’s first save of the evening. The left-back fired a shot at goal that was deflected by the recovering West Ham defender and looped into the palms of the ‘keeper.

      It looked likely that the two sides were going into the break level, but the Hammers got themselves in front through their skipper Ajibola Alese. The centre-back tapped in from close range after a corner in the dying embers of the first-half.

      The Eagles came racing out the blocks in the second-half as they looked to draw level. Street came agonisingly close just a minute after the restart as his shot from close range hit the side netting.

      Street came close once more 10 minutes later, latching onto a long ball and using his strength to muscle off the challenging West Ham centre-backs - though they recovered just in time to block his shot.

      The hour-mark saw Jesurun Rak-Sakyi come close to levelling, though the Palace winger couldn’t squeeze his shot from a narrow angle past Krisztian Hegyi in the West Ham goal.

      Rak-Sakyi did well once more to link-up with Malachi Boateng in a flowing passing move down the right hand side - the latter playing in Nya Kirby, though the Palace No.10 saw his shot blocked.

      The hosts had their fair share of chances as the Eagles passed and probed searching for a way back into the game, the best of which fell to Sonny Perkins 10 minutes from time. The West Ham No. 9 struck a shot from distance, but Whitworth dealt with it well.

      Palace poured more bodies forward as the game wore on, but they couldn’t find a route back into the game as the Hammers emerged with all three points.

      West Ham United: Hegyi, Ashby, Longelo, Ekwah, Baptiste, Alese, Diallo, Forson, Perkins, Swyer, Okoflex.

      Subs not used: Forbes, Kinnear, Rosa, Woods, Greenidge.

      Crystal Palace: Whitworth, Robertson, Hannam (D. Boateng 74), M. Boateng, Rich-Baghuelou, O’Brien, Kirby, Wells-Morrison, Street (Gordon 78), Omilabu, Rak-Sakyi.

      Subs not used: Freedman, Webber, Roles.