QPR U18 (1) – Crystal Palace U18 (2)

Team: Bowman, Disubi, Woollard-Innocent, Mahorn, Gubbins, Bettache, Kifwasima, Dauti (Francis-Adeyinka), Bansal-McNulty (Mesias), Ribeiro (Grant), Platt

Sub Not Used: Dickinson

Courtney Watson gave the visitors the lead on a damp, overcast morning at Heston after 4 minutes. His looping shot curled just over Myles Bowman and under the crossbar.

A Palace cross, knocked over from the left flank, came off of a Rangers defender, forcing Bowman down to smother the rebound.

On a couple of occasions the Palace keeper decided to run up to take their free kicks from close to the half-way line, which is quite unusual in the early stages of a game.

Mus Dauti hit a powerful low shot from 20 yards, but it was directed straight at Matt Funnel.

Whilst at the other end the Eagles player, (Brandon Oddy?) fired his effort just wide of the far post.

The big R’s centre-forward, Mickel Platt, shot at goal, but it received a slight deflection en route and went out for a corner.

There was no sign of Paul Furlong on the bench? Half-time: 0-1.

Aiden Mesias was introduced on 58 minutes at the expense of Amrit Bansal-McNulty.

Rangers were enjoying most of the possession, but were finding it hard to penetrate a very well drilled Palace back-four, and sometimes even a back-five.

I was impressed with their methodical organisation and I wasn’t surprised to read later that they had come into the match on an eight-game unbeaten run.

On the hour mark Jardel Francis-Adeyinka came on for Mus Dauti and five minutes later Dejarhn Grant replaced Leandro Ribeiro.

QPR’s best opportunity of the match thus far came when Adeyinka was put through, but unfortunately he shot straight at the Palace keeper.

The Eagles doubled their lead after 75 minutes when a corner wasn’t cleared and Kyle Lynch hooked the ball in the net from close range.

Mickel Platt’s shot, from an angled position, was well saved by Matt Funnel at the near post.

Myles Bowman made the save of the match after Brandon Oddy had pulled the trigger. The Palace centre-forward turned in the box and belted the ball, which Bowman managed to get a strong hand to and force it over the bar.

Rangers did pull a goal back in the closing stages. Adeyinka superbly controlled the ball with his chest, moved forward, looked up and placed his effort clinically over the keeper.

I was sorry and surprised to hear that Steve Bacon had left the club. Steve is a top R’s fan, known to many, who worked at the training ground(s) over a number of years in two spells.

He will be missed and I would like to wish him all the very best for the future.

Steve Russell