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U23s Report: Five-star triumph as young Eagles dispatch Dulwich Hamlet


  • The young Eagles named a strong side for their first pre-season game, featuring former Palace full-back Pape Souaré.
  • David Omilabu scores from the edge of the box with Palace’s first attack three minutes in.
  • The lead is doubled by John Kymani-Gordon two minutes later.
  • Nya Kirby’s free-kick from 25 yards out is denied by Dulwich’s keeper.
  • Omilabu scores Palace’s third from the resulting corner, as Gordon turned provider.
  • Gordon secured his brace and Palace’s fourth in front an empty net after Omilabu was fouled by the keeper.
  • Half-time: Dulwich Hamlet 0-4 Crystal Palace
  • Palace start the second-half brightly as Ademola Ola-Adebomi came close.
  • Lion Bello added the Eagles’ fifth just past the hour mark.
  • The Hamlet’s waves of attack were well dealt with by the defence and Joe Whitworth in goal.
  • Full-time: Dulwich Hamlet 0-5 Crystal Palace

Fifty-seven days on from securing promotion to the Premier League 2 Division 1, Crystal Palace Under-23s headed to Champion Hill to take on Dulwich Hamlet.

The young Eagles got off to the best possible start with David Omilabu scoring with their first attack of the game three minutes in. The young forward picked up from where he left off last season, slotting home from the edge of the box.

Palace doubled their lead a couple of minutes later, with John-Kymani Gordon finding the back of the net after a bursting run past the last defender.

A quarter of an hour in and the Eagles almost made it three, after Nya Kirby’s free-kick from 25-yards out was parried behind by ‘keeper Charlie Grainger.

The resulting corner saw John-Kymani Gordon play a ball across the box for Omilabu to slot home from home close range for his second, and Palace’s third, of the game.

Five minutes later, the Eagles made it four. After Omilabu was cynically fouled by Grainger inside the box, the referee played the advantage to allow Gordon to pass the ball into the back of the empty Dulwich net.

The hosts tried to find a way back into the game shortly after the drinks break, creating a flurry of chances - the best of which fell to striker Danny Mills, whose effort was not enough to trouble Joe Whitworth in the Palace goal.

Gordon had a chance to secure his hat-trick just before half-time, but the young striker’s effort went agonisingly wide of the post.

The young Eagles started the second-half brightly, in search of more goals as substitute Ademola Ola-Adebomi came close with his shot just drifting wide of the post.

The Hamlet came close to scoring their first of the game just before the hour mark, however an excellent double save from Whitworth kept Palace’s clean sheet intact.

Just past the hour mark, Palace added their fifth. An incisive counter-attack saw Lion Bello latch onto Ola-Adebomi’s ball across the box

The hosts were not going down without a fight, Andrew Harris-Sealy’s effort after a surging run was denied by Whitworth.

The Hamlet continued to pile the pressure on as they looked for a consolation, with skipper Jack Holland hitting the post - the resulting goalmouth scramble was well dealt with by the young Palace defence.

The final whistle blew and the hosts couldn't find a way through a resilient Palace defence. Gary Issott's side held on to secure a resounding 5-0 victory in their first pre-season game of the season.

Dulwich Hamlet: Grainger, Barnum-Bobb (Timlin, 55), Ming (Splatt, 55), Higgs, Holland, Blackman (Trialist, 55), Trialist, McGregor (Trialist, 55), Mills, Kandi, Harris-Sealy

Subs not used: Acheampong, Trialist, Morris, Trialist, Trialist.

Crystal Palace Under-23s first-half: Whitworth, Boateng, O’Brien, Souaré, Adaramola, Steele, Trialist, Kirby, Pierrick, Omilabu, Gordon

Crystal Palace second-half: Whitworth, Robertson, Trialist, Souaré (Trialist, 85), Bello, Trialist, Trialist (Trialist, 75 (Williams, 85)), Ozoh, Akinwale, Pierrick (Trialist, 64), Ola-Adebomi.