U18s Lose to Palace
Saturday, 1st Dec 2012 14:19
Town’s U18s lost 3-1 in a friendly to Crystal Palace at a bitterly cold Playford Road on Saturday morning. Tom Winter’s first-half strike was cancelled out by three second-half Palace goals after a raft of Town substitutions at the break.
After a quiet opening, Town came close to opening the scoring midway through the first half when Kyle Hammond’s cross from the right was slid just wide at the back post by a stretching Jack Marriott.
Shortly before the half hour, Winter gave Town the lead when his low shot from the edge of the box beat Tom King in the Palace goal.
Town were carving the visitors open at will and a sublime through ball from Jack Willbye set Winter away again, but King made a good save down low.
Marriott’s near-post effort from David October’s left-wing cross was deflected just wide by Ryan Innis before the frontman hit a 25-yard effort just past the top corner.
Town changed most of their side at half-time, presumably with Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup game at Bristol City (Ashton Gate, KO 7pm) in mind.
And within a minute of the restart, Palace sub Jake Gray disposed Omar Sowunmi and slotted the ball past stranded sub keeper Sam McDermid.
Gray fired inches wide as the hour mark approached, moments before Ismail H’maidat hit a 25-yard shot into the bottom corner of McDermid’s net.
Jon Leddy’s freekick forced King into a fine save before Town re-introduced two of the players they had withdrawn at half-time.
The Eagles secured their victory with eight minutes remaining when William Johnson-Cole turned in the box and volleyed home after Gunnar Thorsteinsson had conceded possession.
Town battled well throughout and were more than a match for the visitors in the first-half, with Willbye catching the eye in midfield and Sowunmi giving an assured display at the back. Marriott worked hard but will have been disappointed not to convert one of his chances, while young Cory Galvin’s pace and willingness to take players on in the second half was impressive.
Meanwhile, the academy is currently undergoing an independent audit, which is part of the process of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) in which Town opted for Category Two status in the summer.
U18s: Crowe (McDermid 46), Hammond (Robinson 46), October (Leddy 46), Willbye (Marriott 80), Fowler (Thompson 46), Sowunmi (Clarke 80), Winter (Galvin 46), Thorsteinsson, Marriott (Ramadan 46), Clarke (Berkane 46), Timlin (Ellis 46).
Report: James Ager
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