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Smash And Grab For Palace

12 December 2016

Young U's dominate but lose 1-0.

There was more bad news for the U's, as Sammie Szmodics only lasted fifteen minutes in his first start after an injury lay-off.

U's striker Decarrey Sheriff hit the bar in the final minute of the game, but Palace held on for the win.

Palace midfielder Kian Flanagan's strike into the bottom corner was enough for the Eagles to take the points on a misty evening at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Despite being the better team and creating the majority of chances throughout the game, Wayne Brown's youngsters were beaten by a second half goal. The U's U23s have lost 1-0 against Crystal Palace.

From the start, the young U’s side were the one looking to get forward with purpose, and their first effort at goal came in only the third minute.

Sammie Szmodics, who returned to match action on Saturday at Mansfield after an injury lay-off, had a shot pushed away for a corner.

Two minutes later, full back JJ Wilson got forward and tried his luck, but the connection wasn’t what he would have wanted and it was a comfortable save from Palace keeper Billy Granger.
At the other end, Dillon Barnes had to make a very good save to deny Levi Lumeka, who had got in behind the U’s defence thanks to a through ball from Corie Andrews.

With only fifteen minutes played, Szmodics could play no further part in the game and had to be replaced by Charley Edge.

The best chance of the half came two minutes later, when Dion Sembie-Ferris volleyed over the bar at the far post after good attacking play from Wilson down the left.

Palace were finding it hard to get out of their own half and they had another let off on twenty nine minutes when Decarrey Sheriff’s effort flew just wide of the target.

A couple of half chance did come the way of the visitors towards the break, but neither tested Barnes in the U’s goal.

First, Randell Williams effort at full stretch went wide and then Andrews’ effort took a slight deflection and went out for a corner.

The second half started with the U’s again on the offensive, the first chance begin a Charley Edge free kick that sailed high and wide after he himself had been fouled.

Edge and Sheriff had further efforts in the fifty second and sixtieth minutes but both failed to test Granger in the Palace goal.

In between those chances, Barnes was in the right place to take a shot from Andrews straight into his midriff.

Louis Dunne was next to try his luck, but his shot on the angle was always rising and the youngster was frustrated with himself for spurning what was a good opportunity.

Halfway through the second period, in a rare attack, the visitors had a goal ruled out when the assistant spotted a foul before the ball was headed into the U’s net.

With seventeen minutes remaining, Wayne Brown made a second substitution, bringing on forward Eion McKeown for midfielder Chris Regis, as the U’s looked for a breakthrough.

The breakthrough came five minutes later, but it was Palace who made it against the run of play.

Centre half Nikola Tavanes broke through, and although his attempted through ball was blocked, Kian Flanagan was on hand to drill a low shot into the bottom corner.

McKeown’s first involvement saw him almost get a quick leveller, but his header at the far post was saved, following a good bit of skill and cross from Dunne on the left wing.

Sheriff came even closer in the last minute, striking the bar with a sweet volley from an Edge free kick.

In injury time, there was a lot of injury time due to the visitors’ timewasting, McKeown had the final chance but saw his shot go wide.

The final whistle went with the visitors hanging onto their single goal advantage, and the young U’s disappointed that they couldn’t turn their superiority into a positive result.

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