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#U21 #PL2 #MatchReport #CrystalPalace #AlfieDevine

Under-23s lose out to Palace

Spurs 1-4 Crystal Palace (Premier League 2)

Mon 07 February 2022, 15:19|Tottenham Hotspur

Our Under-23s shipped four goals to Crystal Palace for the second time this season as we slumped to a 4-1 defeat at Hotspur Way on Monday.

After going down 4-3 in the reverse fixture in October, we allowed Scott Banks to set the tone with a goal inside the first minute and although Alfie Devine produced an instant response to Banks’ second goal to make it 2-1 with less than 20 minutes played, we couldn’t find a way back into the game and further goals from ex-Spur Nya Kirby and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi after the break sealed the win for Palace, defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott sent off in the closing moments after tangling with substitute Victor Akinwale.

It was a second appearance at Hotspur Way inside 48 hours for the latter, who scored in Palace’s 4-2 win against our Under-18s on Saturday, while our entire crop of outfield substitutes played in the same game as Under-23s Coach Wayne Burnett called in reinforcements after losing a host of players to injuries, suspensions and January loan moves to EFL clubs. Indeed, the introduction of Jaden Williams and Rio Kyerematen gave us a bit of added spark in the second half, but by then the visitors had the points in the bag.

Banks lashed high into the net with barely a minute gone as we dithered while trying to play out from the back, the same player doubling Palace’s lead on 17 minutes with a left-footed free-kick that clipped the top of the wall and went in off the near post after Matthew Craig’s foul on Kirby.

To our credit, we pulled one back straight away, Marqes Muir’s pass out from the back cleverly flicked on by Dane Scarlett to allow Devine to go through on goal and convert from the right angle. Banks and Jack Wells-Morrison both went close to restoring the Eagles’ two-goal cushion in the following moments while Craig conjured up a couple of half-chances for us after pushing on into the attacking third, although both came to nothing. Scarlett subsequently ran through on goal, only to have the ball nicked off him by advancing goalkeeper Joe Whitworth at the edge of the Palace box.

The closest we went to bagging a second goal was on 34 minutes when J’Neil Bennett roamed in from the right and cracked a left-footed shot against the woodwork from distance, while goalkeeper Josh Oluwayemi was forced to back-pedal and tip John-Kymani Gordon’s header over the bar a few minutes later at the other end. There was one further chance for us three minutes before the break when Marcel Lavinier’s cross from the left was knocked back into the middle by right-back Dermi Lusala, but Max Robson’s effort from six yards out was stopped by Whitworth.

Banks nearly had a hat-trick at the start of the second half when he fizzed a shot just over the top, but it was 3-1 in the 52nd minute when Kirby blasted in from the right angle, Oluwayemi left kicking himself for failing to keep it out after getting his hands to the ball. Palace subsequently added a fourth goal on 69 minutes when Banks’ free-kick crashed off the underside of the bar and the ball was scrambled out to Rak-Sakyi who slotted home, our misery compounded in the 89th minute when Fagan-Walcott saw red following a coming-together with Akinwale.

‘If you give any team a two-goal start, it’s really difficult’

Under-23s Coach Wayne was bitterly disappointed with the way the game panned out, as we slipped to a second consecutive Premier League 2 defeat: “Our performance was very disappointing and didn’t reflect what we’ve done throughout the week,” he said. “I’ve been open and honest with the players and when they’ve done well, I’ve said they’ve done well, but today… it’s impossible to win football matches without a real sense of fight, a work ethic and a willingness to run, and we haven’t done that consistently or maintained it for long periods in the game. We did it in spells, but not to a level that we expect and that I know we can do.

“Obviously we didn’t start well – if you give any team a two-goal start, it’s really difficult. We managed to respond quickly with a goal but we didn’t really have the same threat, look as dynamic or play with the same intensity as we have done, and that showed. The only bright spark was the two really young players who came on, they showed some personality and character, but in terms of the result, we didn’t deserve anything.”

Spurs 1-4 Crystal Palace (Premier League 2)

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Lusala, Lavinier, Matthew Craig, Muir, Fagan-Walcott (c), Bennett, Robson (Kyerematen 73), Scarlett (Williams 73), Devine, Santiago. Substitutes (not used): Lo-Tutala, Dorrington, Bryan-Waugh.

Crystal Palace: Whitworth, D Boateng (Phillips 64), Adaramola, M Boateng (c), Quick, Watson, Banks (Omilabu 73), Wells-Morrison, Gordon (Akinwale 83), Kirby, Rak-Sakyi. Substitutes (not used): Goodman, Steele.

Match data

Goals: Spurs – Devine 18, Crystal Palace – Banks 1, 17, Kirby 52, Rak-Sakyi 69.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Craig 16, Lusala 68; Crystal Palace – Watson 24.

Red card – Spurs – Fagan-Walcott 89.

Referee: Savvas Yianni.

Venue: Hotspur Way, Enfield.

Weather: Bright, gentle breeze, nine degrees.