U18s End Season With Victory Over Palace
Wednesday, 19th Apr 2017 19:24 by James Ager
A strong Town U18 side completed their Professional Development League Two South campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Crystal Palace at Playford Road on Wednesday afternoon, despite being reduced to 10 men. Ben Morris (pictured), Flynn Downes, who was later dismissed for a second bookable offence, and Conor McKendry, from the penalty spot, netted the goals.
Coach Alan Lee fielded Pat Webber and Morris in his starting XI, both of whom have been included in Mick McCarthy's first-team matchday squad this season but so far without making their senior debuts.
Morris, who recently spent a short spell on loan at Woking, gave the Blues the lead on 14 following a poor goalkick from Palace glovesman Oliver Webber. Ben Folami released his strike partner and the England U18 international held off a defender before confidently lifting the ball over the advancing keeper.
Webber did well to push a low, curling freekick from Morris around his near post soon after but the resultant corner was inadvertently diverted goalwards by a Palace defender, with Downes knocking the ball over the line from close range.
Shortly after the half-hour mark Town's lead was increased again. The dangerous McKendry was bundled over in the area by James Daly, who was lucky to escape any further punishment from the referee, and the diminutive Northern Irish wideman stepped up and netted from the spot.
The visitors were struggling to contain a rampant Blues outfit but two half-time Palace substitutions contributed to a much more even second half.
Folami twice came close to adding his name to the scoresheet but then moments later the dynamic of the game changed as Town were reduced to 10 men when Downes was sent off.
The midfielder, who had been booked in the first half for a foul on Joseph Hungbo, got involved in an off-the-ball scuffle as the players were waiting for a Palace corner and was shown a second yellow card. Eagles striker Francis Baptiste was also cautioned.
Despite being a man down, the young Blues defended well and restricted Palace to a small number of half chances which they weren't able to convert.
The result sees Town finish their season fourth in their 10-team league table, while the visitors ended up in third.
U18s: Hayes, Cahill, Ndaba, Downes, Cathline, Webber, McKendry, McGavin (Woolfenden 84), Morris, Folami (Wilton 80), Meldrum. Unused: Wright.
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