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      U21s Report: Mooney winner sees Palace go 10 games unbeaten

      West Ham United U21
      Crystal Palace U21
      Mooney 24'

      On Saturday, Crystal Palace Under-21s overcame London rivals West Ham United to extend their unbeaten run from the start of the season to 10 games. A first-half goal from Fionn Mooney, following a corner, was enough to seal all three points at Rush Green.


      • Paddy McCarthy made four changes from the side which beat PSG

      • Fionn Mooney broke the deadlock 25 minutes poking home from a corner

      • Kofi Balmer nearly headed home a second before half-time

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

      • Levi Liang was shown a straight red after bringing down Victor Akinwale on a Palace counter

      • Mooney, Killian Phillips, David Omilabu and Ademola Ola-Adebomi came close on multiple occasions throughout the half to doubling the lead

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

      U21 Match Highlights: West Ham United 0-1 Palace

      Just three days on from the remarkable 7-3 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the Premier League International Cup, Palace U21s were in action once again - this time against familiar opponents and London rivals West Ham United.

      Manager Paddy McCarthy made four changes to the side which stunned the Parisians, with Owen Goodman, Seán Grehan, Kofi Balmer and Fionn Mooney all returning in place of Sam Johnstone, Noah Watson, Maliq Cadogan and John-Kymani Gordon.

      The early exchanges in East London left a lot to be desired. While both sides postured to take the lead, neither could fashion a clear cut chance in the opening quarter of the game.

      With 25 minutes on the clock, Palace won a corner and managed to take the lead. A ball delivered by skipper Jack Wells-Morrison was met by the head of Kofi Balmer and sent back across goal.

      Brian Kinnear, West Ham’s goalkeeper, flapped at it and could only clear it as far as Killian Phillips. The Irish midfielder met it with his head and it looked destined to go in off the post, though Fionn Mooney reacted quickest to poke it in from close range to give Palace the lead.

      In a stark change from the opening 20 minutes, Palace were now firmly in the driving seat and looked to double their lead. Half an hour in, Phillips and David Omilabu linked up well down the Palace right. Omilabu drove into the box and managed to get a shot away on his left foot, though it was charged down.

      Just under 10 minutes remained in the first-half when Palace came agonisingly close to doubling their lead. Wells-Morrison once again picked out Balmer from a corner and this time the defender headed down, into the ground, and goalbound. Kinnear scrambled across his goal line and managed to turn it behind.

      Palace got off to a blistering start in the second-half, pushing right from kick-off for a two-goal cushion. After breaking away on the counter, it looked as though Akinwale had a golden opportunity to double the lead, however he was cynically brought down by Luke Liang on the edge of the box before he could get a shot away.

      The West Ham centre-back was shown a straight red card, due to him being the last defender, and Palace were awarded a free-kick. Mooney stepped up to take the resulting free-kick, forcing Kinnear to tip it behind at his near post.

      With a man and a goal advantage, Palace attempted to put the Hammers to the sword. Pressing from the front saw Mooney win the ball with a crunching tackle just outside the West Ham box, he cut it back across for Phillips who saw his shot saved and an onrushing Omilabu fired just wide on his weaker right foot.

      As the half went on, Palace continued to push for a second, but it just eluded them. Second-half substitute Ademola Ola-Adebomi combined well with Omilabu in a well-worked passing move through the middle, with the former getting a shot away that was just parried behind.

      After four minutes of time added on, the referee brought an end to proceedings. Paddy McCarthy’s Eagles are now unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions and sit joint-top of the Premier League 2 Division 1, behind Manchester City on goal difference.

      Crystal Palace: Goodman, Rodney, Grehan, Balmer, Adaramola, Ozoh (Raymond, 81), Wells-Morrison, Phillips, Omilabu, Akinwale, Mooney (Ola-Adebomi, 70).

      Subs not used: Shala, Watson, Cadogan.

      West Ham United: Kinnear, Ashby, Greenidge, Liang, Clayton, Woods (Forbes, 52), Simon-Sawyer (Coddington, 78), Ekwah, Scarles, Marshall (Earthy, 84), Appiah-Forson (Peake, 84).

      Sub not used: Terry.