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U23s Report: Ten-man Palace fall to Leeds on opening day of PL2 Division 1

1
O'Brien 11'
3
Summerville 7'
McCarron 70'
McGurk 74'

The ten men of Crystal Palace Under-23s were overcome at Selhurst Park by a resilient Leeds United at the start of their Premier League 2 Division 1 season.

Summary

  • Paddy McCarthy named a strong starting XI in his first game in charge of the U23s
  • Leeds took the lead early on through Crysencio Summerville
  • Palace hit back almost immediately with Jake O’Brien heading home a Scott Banks corner
  • The Eagles were reduced to 10-men as David Boateng is sent off for handling on the line 20 minutes in
  • Joe Whitworth denied Leeds’ Joe Gelhardt from the spot
  • Whitworth continued to keep out the visitors efforts as they enjoyed the man advantage
  • Half-time: Crystal Palace U23s 1-1 Leeds United
  • Rak-Sakyi and Street’s efforts were saved by the Leeds ‘keeper Kristoffer Klaesson
  • The visitors went back in front 70 minutes in through Liam McCarron
  • Sean McGurk added another for Leeds moments later
  • David Omilabu was fouled in the box, but couldn’t convert the penalty
  • O’Brien’s late effort from 35-yards was tipped over the bar
  • Full-time: Crystal Palace U23s 1-3 Leeds United

The Eagles started brightly in the opening exchanges, with Nya Kirby seeing his shot from the edge of the box saved by the Leeds ‘keeper Kristoffer Klaesson.

Despite Palace’s early pressure, it was the visitors who got their noses in front with six minutes on the clock, through a Crysencio Summerville effort inside the box.

The Eagles responded to going down brilliantly, five minutes later, skipper Jake O’Brien latched on to a Scott Banks corner to power home a header at the far post.

Leeds’ Cody Drameh played a devastating ball across the Palace box which fell to Amari Miller after a great save from Joe Whitworth to deny Joe Geldhardt.

Miller’s shot was blocked by David Boateng on the line, however the Palace right-back was adjudged to have handled the ball and was unfortunately sent off.

The visitors were awarded a penalty in the aftermath of the red card - Gelhardt’s tame effort was well held by Whitworth to keep the scores level.

With Palace a man light, the Whites dialled up the pressure. A ball across the box from Summerville caused Jarosław Jach to miscue his clearance, forcing Whitworth into an excellent fingertip save.

Leeds’ efforts to pull in front were denied by great goalkeeping from Whitworth once again, with Gelhardt’s shot from distance well saved.

As the first-half was drawing to a close, the Eagles almost took the lead through Jesurun Rak-Sakyi. The young winger fired a low driven shot narrowly wide of the post.

The second-half got off to a frantic start with chances coming for both sides. Rak-Sakyi danced and dribbled his way into the Leeds box to cut the ball across for Kirby to strike, though the midfielder’s effort was blocked and cleared away.

Rak-Sakyi was causing problems for the Leeds defence once more 10 minutes into the second-half, skipping past two defenders before hitting a shot from the edge of the box which stung the palms of Klaesson.

Though the visitors had more of the possession, it was Palace who created the more meaningful chances. Strong pressing from Malachi Boating saw the ball break to Rob Street on the edge of the box, though his strike was denied by Klaesson.

With 70 minutes on the clock, Leeds made their man advantage count as Liam McArron closed in on a Drameh cross to find the net from close range.

Moments later, the Whites added another through second-half substitute Sean McGurk to give themselves a two-goal cushion.

The Eagles looked to find a way back into the game and nearly did so through second-half substitute David Omilabu. The striker was brought down inside the box and took the resulting penalty, however his spot-kick was turned behind the post.

O’Brien forced Klaesson into a finger-tip save moments later after he arrowed in a driven shot from 35 yards out.

Ten-man Palace continued to pour players forward in the dying embers of the game - resulting in Street winning the ball from a misplaced pass back, though he couldn’t capitalise as his shot was parried away by the ‘keeper.

It wasn’t to be for the young Eagles, as the final whistle blew after eight minutes of stoppage time.

Palace: Whitworth (GK), D. Boateng, Hannam, M. Boateng, O’Brien, Jach, Banks (Quick 23), Kirby, Street, Wells-Morrison, Rak-Sakyi (Omilabu 77).

Subs not used: Goodman (GK), Robertson, Trialist.

Leeds: Klaesson (GK), Drameh, Cresswell (Kenneh 45), Moore, McCarron, Jenkins, Forshaw (Allen 58), Summerville (McGurk 45), Bate, Miller, Gelhardt

Subs not used: Van den Huevel (GK), Greenwood.