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Another Scarlett treble as Under-18s win at Palace

Crystal Palace 1-5 Spurs (Under-18 Premier League)

Sat 05 December 2020, 14:35|Tottenham Hotspur

Dane Scarlett completed his second hat-trick in as many Under-18 Premier League starts to cap a terrific team performance from our youngsters at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The striker, who was on the bench for the first team against LASK in Austria on Thursday evening, bagged two first-half goals at Palace’s training ground, the second one coming from the penalty spot after he was brought down by goalkeeper Joe Whitworth, before rounding off his treble with aplomb in the 93rd minute as we ran out 5-1 winners in our first meeting with the Eagles following their elevation into the league this year.

Cardo Siddik had scored for Palace shortly before half-time to make it 2-1, but we were always on the front foot and Romaine Mundle set up Kallum Cesay to make it 3-1 with an exquisite curler into the top corner on 69 minutes, before substitute Roshaun Mathurin added his name to the scoresheet from another Mundle assist 12 minutes from time.

Left-back Jeremy Kyezu, in for his second league start of the season, was influential at both ends early on, his cross headed against the crossbar by Scarlett before he made a crucial block in our box to deny Palace’s Dylan Thisleton. We established control of the game from the outset, though, and after Tarrelle Whittaker glanced a header across goal and wide mid-way through the first half, Michael Craig pounced on a mistake in the Palace defence and squared for Scarlett to stab home the opener from six yards out in the 25th minute.

Nine minutes later it was 2-0 as Scarlett was brought down just inside the box by the onrushing Whitworth after latching onto Marqes Muir’s long ball forward. The referee initially awarded us a free-kick on the edge of the area but quickly upgraded his decision after consulting with his linesman and the striker confidently stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way.

The home side pulled one back five minutes before the interval when Siddik’s header from a corner crept in amidst a crowded area, but after a couple of near misses for Yago Santiago in the second period, we re-established our two-goal advantage in some style, Mundle’s good work on the right allowing Cesay to collect possession and quickly hit a brilliant curler into the far top corner.

Mathurin lashed a shot over from the left angle inside the box and Mundle’s thumping long-range strike was well saved by Whitworth with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining before we made it 4-1 in the 78th minute. Mundle sent over a fine cross-field pass from right to left, Mathurin’s first touch took him into the box and he steadied himself before firing past Whitworth one-on-one.

Despite the winning margin, Scarlett was working hard and hungry for his hat-trick, and he duly got it in stoppage time when Mathurin sent a low ball across from the left and he produced a clinical finish to bring up another treble following his four-goal haul against Southampton a fortnight ago.

‘Everybody was on their game’

Under-18s Coach Matt Taylor was delighted with the team’s performance. He said afterwards: “Overall, our boys were very good today. It was important that we stood up to the test physically and I thought we did that, and we managed to impose our style on the game. In possession, a lot of our work was high-quality in terms of receiving the ball in tight areas and the DNA that we expect our players to have, so from that point of view it was fantastic. To score five goals away from home at any level is impressive, I suppose the only blot – if there is a blot – is that we didn’t keep a clean sheet but we’ve scored five goals and we’re really happy with the levels of performance from the lads.

“Today came off the back of a very good training week for the group. We’re fortunate that we’ve got exceptional competition for places all over the pitch. Some players like Michael Craig and Jeremy Kyezu have had to be very patient and wait for their opportunities but what was paramount today was that the players who came in and made maybe their first or second starts of the season took their opportunities. It would be easy for me to go through all the team, because everybody was on their game today. It was a very professional performance – individually and as a team, we managed the game very well.

“What was pleasing today too is that the substitutes made an impact. Roshaun Mathurin came on, got a goal and set Dane up for his hat-trick. Dane played very well again today, another three goals. At the moment he’s getting some very good service in to him from others players and he’s finishing his chances very well.”

Crystal Palace 1-5 Spurs (Under-18 Premier League)

Spurs: Lo-Tutala (c), Cesay, Kyezu, Michael Craig (Matthew Craig 83), Muir, Paskotsi, Whittaker (Mathurin 67), John, Scarlett, Mundle, Santiago (Haysman 83). Substitutes (not used): Maguire, Carrington.