QPR U23 (3) – Crystal Palace U23 (1)

U23 Professional Development League

Team: Kelly, Williams-Lowe, Wallace, Smith, Masterson, Carlyle, Osayi-Samuel, Bettache, Walker, Bansal-McNulty, Alfa

Sub Not Used: Dickinson.

Lee Wallace captained a strong QPR U23’s side, which included the likes of Liam Kelly, Matt Smith, Conor Masterson and Bright Osayi-Samuel.

For the visitors, James Tomkins went on to get 60 minutes under his belt after a long lay-off.

Palace took the lead after just 50 seconds from a move that had started down the left-wing. Jason Lokilo set-up Rob Street who proceeded to side foot the ball past Liam Kelly from around ten yards.

After some good work from Amrit Bansal-McNulty down the right, the R’s No.10 put in a superb ball for Lewis Walker who dipped his head and the opportunity came to nothing.

Rangers equalised on six minutes after the Eagles keeper had tried to clear the ball. Lewis Walker blocked it and the ricochet found Bansal-McNulty wide of the six-yard box. The R’s No.10 made no mistake, firing sweetly into the roof of the net.

Bansal-McNulty then put a great through ball to Walker and the R’s No.9 shot narrowly cleared the crossbar.

After a foul on Osayi-Samuel, Bansal-McNulty decided not to aim his free kick at goal, but instead knocked the ball into the box, which was subsequently cleared.

Although there was a suspicion of offside, Lewis Walker’s effort forced Dion Henry down to make a good stop, sending the ball behind for a corner.

Minutes from the interval, Ody Alfa’s powerful shot from over 25 yards crashed against the crossbar. Half-time: 1-1.

Into the second-half and some excellent defending by Kayden Williams-Lowe denied Palace taking the lead after a ball from the right found an unmarked team-mate. The QPR No.2 made a superb block and the ball went behind.

A Rangers attack was interrupted after the ball had hit the referee. Mr Mannix blew his whistle and instigated a dropped ball.

On 61 minutes, Paul Hall brought on Stephen Duke-McKenna to replace Bright Osayi-Samuel. Then Dylan Duncan was introduced at the expense of Faysal Bettache.

Palace had a good opportunity when the Eagles’ player hooked the ball on target, but it lacked power and Liam Kelly was able to make a comfortable save.

The visitors had upped their game, but it was the R’s who looked like scoring next. A ball into the box resulted in the keeper and two defenders all going down in a heap!

Rangers took a deserved lead on 72 minutes after Bansal-McNulty’s effort was deflected off of Sam Woods. The ball fell to Walker and the R’s striker then blasted the ball into the back of the net.

Five minutes later Dylan Duncan added a third goal for the R’s. Bansal-McNulty’s excellent low ball in from the right was scooped into the net from close range, despite some close marking from a Palace defender.

The final Rangers change was made on 80 minutes when Franklin Domi came on for Lee Wallace.

Both sides had chances in the latter stages. Following a good run by Ody Alfa, Matt Smith shot directly at the Palace keeper and for the visitors, Jason Lokilo’s free kick from just outside the ‘D’ was belted well over the bar.

I must mention that assisting the Palace coach, Richard Shaw, were Shaun Derry and Dean Wilkins.

Steve Russell

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