QPR U21 (5) – Crystal Palace U21 (2)

U21 Professional Development League 2 (South)

Team: Lumley, Furlong, Suk-Young, Wise (Jones), Kpekawa, Comley, Shodipo, Sutherland, Crichlow (Corkery), Mitchell (Manning), Gladwin.

Sub Not Used: Hudnott

Palace had started their season with two draws followed by an emphatic 6-2 victory against Watford the previous week. Yun Suk-Young and Ben Gladwin made their return from injury in the R’s starting line-up.

It was a typical Bank Holiday Monday, overcast with intermittent rain. There was a return to the fold for Rob Bennett and also in attendance were Alan, Clive Roger, Keith and Ron Hill.

Rangers went close to opening the scoring when a powerful shot narrowly evaded Kleton Perntreou’s far post, while at the other end, Joe Lumley momentarily looked to be caught unawares, but as the Eagles player looked up, he fired just wide.

Following a defensive error, Darnell Furlong made a good stop after the Palace player had lined up his shot. Then it was Ben Gladwin who got into a dangerous position after twisting and turning to set himself up to pull the trigger. His shot dipped en route to narrowly clear the crossbar.

The visitors were awarded a free kick more than 25 yards out which forced Joe Lumley down to grasp the ball with both hands. Palace amazingly escaped a blatant handball after Olamide Shodipo had battled his way through for control of the ball inside the box and the Eagles defender clearly rolled the ball back with his hand!!! As we remonstrated with the officials, the linesman signalled a free kick to Palace!

Rangers got the goal they deserved after 34 minutes when a superb ball through the middle from Aaron Mitchell found Gianni Crichlow. The R’s No. 9 took his time to steady himself and shoot past the Palace custodian.

QPR doubled their lead minutes later following a bullet header from Brandon Comley and a scramble around the 6-yard box. It was unclear at the time whether a Palace defender had helped Harly Wise’s close range effort over the line, but the goal was credited to the Rangers No.4.

A long ball was pumped upfield and as the Palace player approached Joe Lumley, he struck the ball direct at the R’s keeper whilst Harly Wise had made up a lot of ground to follow up and clear the danger.

Just before the break, Patrick Bamford pushed Darnell Furlong in the face and he was lucky to get away with it. Half-time: 2-0.

Palace pulled a goal back through Patrick Bamford after the interval, but the R’s scored a third about a minute later following a good run down the right when Aaron Mitchell’s cross was turned in superbly by Ben Gladwin after taking the ball in his stride.

Four minutes later, the R’s were awarded a penalty after a handball in the box. Rangers captain Frankie Sutherland stepped up, but his spot kick was kept out by the Palace keeper, as he dived to his right.

QPR were gifted their fourth goal when the Palace defender’s back-pass rolled under Perntreou’s foot and into the net.

Following another excellent save from Joe Lumley, Paul Hall made a triple substitution in the 64th minute when he brought on Sam Jones, Nathan Corkery and Ryan Manning at the expense of Harly Wise, Gianni Crichlow and Aaron Mitchell respectively.

The home side scored number five after Frankie Sutherland swung in his free kick from the right. Darnell Furlong was well placed to rise and head home.

Joe Lumley grasped the ball to make another fine save and as the rain picked up again, Palace scored their second. The Rangers keeper had saved well but parried the ball and an unmarked Jake Gray then did the necessary.

A good team performance at a very wet Harlington, in fact, one half of the pitch had noticeable surface water and there was some doubt in the morning whether the match would go ahead.

Next up for the U21’s is Friday’s evening home game at Loftus Road against Nottingham Forest.

Steve Russell