QPR U18 (4) – Crystal Palace U18 (3) – Two very Late Goals Secure the Points

U18 Professional Development League 2

Team: Cooper, McLean, Pitblado, Kalathias, Kargbo, Mahorn, Paiva, Conte, Griffiths, Grant, Domi.

Subs Not Used: Lisk, Anthony.

I met up with Simon Staal outside Hounslow East Station and after some breakfast we headed off to Heston.

Without the aid of a team sheet it was difficult to identify some of the Rangers players. However, minutes into the game, ChrisPTenner had managed to commandeer a handful of team sheets.

With the FA Youth Cup tie coming up on Monday, the R’s side included a trialist and a number of U16 players.

The first effort of note came from the trialist (usually a full-back but now playing on the left-wing), Franklin Domi, whose low shot was saved by Rohan Luthra, but the follow-up was screwed wide.

Whilst at the other end, Jude Russell’s free header ended up going just past the far post.

Rangers had the ball in the net courtesy of Hamzad Kargbo’s close range header, but Mr Owen blew for a foul and gave a free kick. Then after 23 minutes he awarded a penalty and Stathis Kalathias made no mistake with his spot kick.

The Eagles equalised two minutes later after Sean Robertson had broken away and his shot was deflected into the net.

A Palace player got to the bye-line, knocked a dangerous ball into the six-yard box and as Murphy Cooper went down, Hamzad Kargbo was on hand to block it close to the goal-line.

The visitors were enjoying a good spell, but it was QPR who went 2-1 up after 32 minutes when Lemar Griffiths picked his spot from inside the box.

Dejarhn Grant took off on a brilliant run and his low drive was well saved by Rohan Luthra.

Hamzad Kargbo did very well again after making a great sliding challenge just as the Palace player was about to pull the trigger. Half-time: 2-1.

The Palace No.7, 17-year-old Sean Robertson, had a very good half and I was told that he had also turned out for their U23’s side.

There was also an U16’s match underway and Simon noticed that the Palace keeper had come over at the break to take his place on the bench.

For the commencement of the second-half, Paul Furlong brought on Alexander Aoraha for Dejarhn Grant.

Rangers weren’t really threatening very much and Paddy McCarthy’s side were definitely in the ascendancy.

On 57 minutes, Murphy Cooper looked as if he had got his fingers to the ball but he couldn’t keep out Brandon Aveiro’s powerful shot.

A couple of minutes later Pierrick Keutcha gave the visitors the lead following a run down the right-wing.

Murphy Cooper denied the visitors another goal on 70 minutes when he collected a loose ball after making a very good stop.

Pierrick Keutcha shot against the upright following a ball from the right-flank.

Then shortly after, an unmarked TQ Addy hit the underside of the crossbar from close range.

On 76 minutes, Paul Furlong made a double substitution which saw the introduction of Lewis Duberry and Tyler Payne at the expense of Mason McLean and Raheem Conte respectively.

Rangers were now getting back into the game and Lemar Griffiths got himself into a good position, but he shot too early and the Palace keeper was able to comfortably clutch the ball to his chest.

Franklin Domi scored a dramatic equaliser after 88 minutes when he sweetly belted the ball into the back of the net from 25-yards.

Further drama followed just two minutes later after Lemar Griffiths had received a through ball and despite being shadowed by a defender and with the keeper advancing, he successfully ran the ball into the net.

With seconds remaining, Hamzad Kargbo made an amazing block with what looked like the side of his face! The ball was cleared and soon after Mr Owen blew the final whistle.

Steve Russell