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#U18 #MatchReport #CrystalPalace #JamieDonley #JadenWilliams

Under-18s turn on the style in win at Palace

Crystal Palace 1-3 Spurs (Under-18 Premier League)

Sat 26 November 2022, 14:20|Tottenham Hotspur

Our Under-18s produced a commanding performance and some stylish goals to defeat 10-man Crystal Palace 3-1 on Saturday.

Two strikes in as many minutes from Jamie Donley and Jaden Williams had Stuart Lewis’ side in control, even before the dismissal of Palace goalkeeper Jackson Izquierdo for clattering into Will Lankshear 15 yards outside his box with only half an hour gone.

Caleb Kporha had pulled one back for the hosts shortly before the red card incident, but we always had the upper hand and duly put the game to bed with a well-taken third goal from Lankshear on the hour mark.

Palace threatened in the first couple of minutes, Alfie Dorrington making a vital clearance from Junior Dixon while practically on the goal line, but we soon had the lead, Williams roaming in from the right and playing the ball short to Tyrese Hall in the box, whose low delivery across goal went in the direction of Lankshear, hit bodies and fell nicely for Donley to steer inside the far post – his third goal in three games – with nine minutes played.

A minute later it was 2-0, and in some style. Towards the end of a great team move that started with goalkeeper Luca Gunter, Rio Kyerematen pushed forward brilliantly from half-way and played Lankshear in behind the defence on the left side, the forward squaring for the arriving Williams to roll home at the far post and spark joyous celebrations among the players.

Palace made it 2-1 on 19 minutes when Kporha strolled through our defence and picked out the bottom corner on his left foot while Dorrington was on hand to block Jake Grante’s effort in the wake of a wide free-kick as the hosts tried to mount a response, but the game swung firmly in our favour when Izquierdo came racing out of his area and fouled Lankshear as the striker latched onto a long ball forward and tried to knock it beyond the advancing keeper, the referee showing the Eagles’ custodian a straight red card.

George Abbott’s right-footed shot from 20 yards was well saved by substitute goalkeeper Laurie Shala a few minutes later while Damola Ajayi’s dipping effort was helped into the net at the back post by Donley, only for it to be ruled out for offside at the start of the second half. But we deservedly restored our two-goal cushion on the hour mark when Will Andiyapan sent Donley sprinting away down the left and his sweeping cross was hammered home by Lankshear as he arrived in the box on the far side.

Palace battled on and had a couple of spells of pressure as the second period continued, Adler Nascimento hooking a shot just over the bar while both Asher Agbinone and Nascimento forced smart saves out of Gunter with headers from back-to-back corners in the closing moments. We had our own chances as well, though, Dorrington, Donley and substitute Yusuf Akhamrich narrowly missing the target from distance as we maintained control until the end.

‘To score three goals of that quality was a real testament to the players’

Under-18s Coach Stuart was delighted with the manner of all three goals we scored, telling us after the game: “I thought they were excellent team goals with some really exciting passing and movement sequences. Palace are always a tough team to play against, so to score three goals of that quality was a real testament to the players and I thought on the balance of play, we deserved the three points.

“It was really good to start on the front foot and then to follow that up with a very pleasing second goal, which started from the goalkeeper and then finished at the back post with Jaden… I thought that was excellent. It was great to get ourselves 2-0 up – we’ve been pushing that message a lot, in terms of the importance of starting on the front foot and playing attacking, dynamic football and I thought the boys showed that today. The sending-off was a big moment in the game, it was 2-1 at that time, Will Lankshear was really brave and I thought that changed the momentum of the game slightly, but we managed that well and made the man advantage count by creating a lot of opportunities in the second half, so it was a good performance overall.”

Crystal Palace 1-3 Spurs (Under-18 Premier League)

Spurs: Gunter (c), Abbott, Andiyapan (Morgan 80), Chaplin, Dorrington, Kyerematen, Williams, Hall (Owen 90), Lankshear (Irow 75), Donley, Ajayi (Akhamrich 75). Substitute (not used): Krasniqi.