Skip navigation

U23s Report: Rak-Sakyi winner sees Eagles come-back as Eze plays 90

1
Baker 18'
2
Banks 23'
Rak-Sakyi 41'

Crystal Palace Under-23s came from behind to see off a strong Chelsea side on a cold Saturday morning at Kingsmeadow, with goals from Scott Banks and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi along with a full 90 minutes for first-teamer Eberechi Eze making all the difference.

Summary

  • Paddy McCarthy named a strong side, with Eberechi Eze continuing in the starting XI

  • The Eagles started the half well, though Lewis Baker put Chelsea in front from a direct free-kick 18 minutes in

  • Palace responded brilliantly as Scott Banks scored a brilliant solo goal just over five minutes later

  • Jesurun Rak-Sakyi scored his eighth goal of the season to put Palace ahead just before half-time

  • Half-time: Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace

  • Banks came close to adding a second straight after the restart, but it was deflected out

  • Jay Rich-Baghuelou did very well to deny Chelsea’s attempts on goal

  • Play was delayed in the final half hour due to players from both sides going down to injuries

  • The Eagles saw out the game to secure all three points

  • Full-time: Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace

Five days on from the narrow defeat against Blackburn Rovers, Paddy McCarthy’s Eagles travelled to face London rivals Chelsea.

Palace emerged onto the pitch and were on the front foot in the opening seconds. The ball broke to midfielder Malachi Boateng, after good play down the left, and his effort from 25-yards stung Teddy Sharman-Lowe's palms in the Chelsea goal.

The visitors came close to opening the scoring with five minutes on the clock as they made their first attack down the right. Rob Street did well to win the ball in the final third before playing in an onrushing Jesurun Rak-Sakyi. The winger drove into the box and fired a shot that was narrowly deflected across the face of goal.

Eberechi Eze’s first involvement in a Palace attack came after excellent defensive work from centre-back Jay Rich-Baghuelou a quarter of an hour in. Following the Australian’s vital tackle on the edge of the box, the ball broke towards Eze and he went on a trademark run from inside the Palace half - his effort from just outside the box was unfortunately deflected into the path of the ‘keeper.

Despite Palace’s dominance early on, the hosts took the lead 18 minutes in through skipper Lewis Baker. The midfielder scored a free-kick which just beat Joe Whitworth from 25-yards out.

The south Londoners looked to respond and did so just over five minutes later through a wonderful Scott Banks solo effort. The Palace No.7 won the ball in midfield and made a run straight through the middle of the pitch before effortlessly slotting home the equaliser from about 20-yards out.

It was no more than Palace deserved, as they settled into the game and enjoyed a comfortable spell of possession with half-an-hour on the clock. Banks tried an audacious effort from a free-kick near the corner flag, though it cleared both ‘keeper and the bar.

Palace made their dominance count, as they took the lead just before half-time. Rak-Sakyi netted his eighth goal of the season from close range after good work down the left from Banks and Tayo Adaramola. A scrambling Chelsea defence did not deal with. the ball across the face of goal and Rak-Sakyi made no mistake from a few yards out.

The Eagles were firmly in control after going in front and saw out the rest of the half with relative ease.

Eze got the ball rolling for the Eagles in the second-half and they picked up where they left off. The Palace playmaker slipped in Banks moments after the restart, but the winger’s shot inside the box was deflected out for a corner.

The Blues looked to find a way back into the game in the second-half and could have done so if it weren’t for Rich-Baghuelou's astute defending. He did well initially to block a goalbound shot from Bryan Fiabema 50 minutes in and did the same once more on the hour-mark after Joe Haigh hit the post for Chelsea.

Play was broken up intermittently in the final half an hour due to injuries to players on both teams. Rak-Sakyi came close to securing his brace and Palace’s third, though his shot inside the box beat the ‘keeper and went narrowly wide of the post.

Second-half substitute John-Kymani Gordon came close to adding another for Palace late on in the 88th-minute, after leaping well to latch on to an Eze free-kick. His header was powerful, but it was held by Sharman-Lowe.

Eze created a final chance deep into the five minutes of added time, slipping in second-half substitute David Omilabu who in turn squared it across the box for Rak-Sakyi - though the Chelsea defence recovered just in time to scramble it off the line.

The west London outfit threatened to score a late equaliser, though Whitworth in the Palace goal was not troubled. The Eagles held on to secure a vital three points as they returned to winning ways and moved on to 15 points from their first 11 games.

Chelsea: Sharman-Lowe, Rankine, Brooking (Hughes 73), Mbuyamba, Gilchrist, McEachran, Vale, Baker, Fiabema (Soonsup-Bell 67), Wareham (Haigh 43), Thomas.

Subs not used: Wady, Uwakwe.

Crystal Palace: Whitworth, Robertson, Adaramola, M. Boateng, Rich-Baghuelou, O’Brien, Banks (Omilabu 85), Wells-Morrison, Street (Gordon 78), Eze (Kirby 90+4), Rak-Sakyi.

Subs not used: Webber, D. Boateng.