QPR U23 (4) – Crystal Palace U23 (1)

U23 Professional Development League

Team: Lumley, Barzey (Folkes), Williams, Campbell-Young, Arthur, Lang, Prohouly (Akinola), Manning (Alfa), Adams, Eze, Darbyshire

Sub Not Used: Dieng

This fixture was originally scheduled for Selhurst Park, but five days prior to kick-off, Palace asked for the game to be switched.

It was the visitors who got off to a blistering start and it was no surprise when they took the lead after seven minutes. Corie Andrews was released and he set off at a very fast pace down the left-wing and then managed to slot the ball in the net from a tight angle.

However, prior to the move, the linesman had signalled a foul-throw, but Mr Spain chose to ignore him!

At the other end, a good ball to the hard-working Brandon Adams was powered low on target, but aimed directly at Klenton Perntreou.

I think it was Channing Campbell-Young (a trialist?), whose effort was belted goal-bound, but it took a slight deflection en route. The resulting corner was hooked over the crossbar.

Although Palace were much the better side, well organised, pacey and dangerous, Rangers still managed to carve out some good chances. Axel Prohouly moved in from the right flank and his shot dipped just over the bar.

Jack Williams made a superb block close to the goal line, then a ball was hit to the far post and a goalmouth scramble ensued, but again Rangers managed to clear the danger.

QPR did equalise three minutes before half-time when Brandon Adams squared the ball into the centre of the box and Eberechi Eze had no problem finishing in fine style.

Brandon Adams tried to force his way through the Palace defence, and despite having his shirt tugged his subsequent effort was blocked.

Then moments before the half-time whistle, Campbell-Young displayed some excellent footwork close to the box, which then saw him pushed over! Half-time: 1-1.

Rangers came straight out of the blocks after the interval, as the R’s captain, Danny Darbyshire, saw a good effort take a deflection, narrowly evading the post and going out for a corner. Following good work by Brandon Barzey, his cross fell to Adams and the R’s No.9 finished from close range.

A third goal followed after 55 minutes when Eze let fly from 25 yards and although the Palace keeper got a hand to the ball, he couldn’t keep it out.

Some excellent defending from Brandon Barzey saw him mop up at the back, which he then followed-up with a superb ball to Danny Darbyshire who then shot over the bar.

The Eagles really should have scored when a flicked header from close range narrowly evaded the far post.

Joe Lumley was as alert as usual and he charged towards the centre-circle and not only did he clear the ball, but he managed to create a superb move up-field.

Eze went in strongly with a Palace defender, which resulted in the ball shooting up in the air, and with the keeper well out of position, it bounced close to the goal-line but unfortunately it went the wrong way!

Despite Rangers being on top, the visitors were still creating good chances. Two successive shots were well blocked and Noor Husin then forced Joe Lumley into making a spectacular flying save.

Joe Lumley keeps a very close eye on proceedings and he could be heard at the far end of the pitch bellowing out instructions to his team mates.

Eberechi Eze completed his hat-trick on 84 minutes when Darbyshire set him up. In space and not under any kind of pressure, he placed his shot wide of the keeper.

Apart from the score-line, what also impressed me was that the Rangers players dug in after the break and managed to grab hold of a game that had been previously largely dominated by a strong, pacey, well-organised Palace side.

The Harlington Crew also included; Keith Davies, Peter D, Roger Stokes, Clive Kingham, ChrisPTenner and Ray Marno. Also in attendance were; Gary Waddock, Tim Breaker and Alan Pardew (up to 3-1).

Steve Russell