Crystal Palace U23 (3) – QPR U23 (3)

U23 Professional Development League 2

Team: Barnes, Drewe, Domi, Duncan, Craig (trialist), Gubbins, Shodipo, Duke-McKenna, Kendall, Bansal-McNulty, Dalling

Subs Not Used: Dickinson, Frailing, Remy

I met up with Alan Barnes at London Bridge Station and we soon bumped into Ray Marno and ChrisPTenner on the platform before taking the short journey to Lower Sydenham Station. Palace’s training ground was then just a 15-minute walk away.

Starting at No.5 was 27-year-old trialist, Paco Craig, who Chris informed me is the son of Mikey Craig, the bass player with Culture Club.

We all stood in a small area taped off at one end of the pitch.

The first goalscoring opportunity fell to the R’s following a good move that set-up Charley Kendall. Under pressure, he still managed to get his shot on target, which Oliver Webber successfully held.

Shortly after, the Palace keeper also kept hold of Mide Shodipo’s effort at the near post.

After around 20 minutes, Jude Russell fouled Charley Kendall in the box and Mr Packman pointed to the spot. Mide Shodipo stepped up and stroked the ball into the left-hand corner.

Deshane Dalling was shown a yellow card and soon after that he received an excellent pass from Franklin Domi. The QPR No.11 knocked over a dangerous cross into the six-yard box, which a Palace defender then put behind for a corner.

Rangers doubled their lead on 39 minutes. After a patient build-up, Shodipo’s squared ball from the right found Stephen Duke McKenna in the centre of the box, who then finished from close range.

As QPR dominated, the Eagles did manage a rare opportunity. Although the shot looked like it was going wide, it still provoked Dillon Barnes to play safe and tip the ball on for a corner. Half-time: 2-0.

Palace got a goal back just two minutes into the second-half when Brandon Aveiro’s corner appeared to go in off Dillon Barnes’ head!

The home side were now in the ascendancy and a minute later they blazed the ball over the crossbar.

As the wind dropped Dylan Duncan made a superb interception following a dangerous move through the middle.

Whilst at the other end a through ball to the onrushing Shodipo took him into the box and resulted in a clearance over the bar for a corner.

Rangers had the ball in the net on the hour mark, but unfortunately a late flag call from the lino and a consultation ruled it out. Chris subsequently watched the Palace video and told me that it was never offside. Even Mark Bright agreed!

The Eagles equalised on 64 minutes following a long deep run through the middle. Dillon Barnes stopped Brandon Aveiro’s powerful strike, but John-Kymani Gordon was well placed to knock in the rebound.

However a minute later the R’s were back in front after Aaron Drewe’s cross into the six-yard box found its way in after hitting Charley Kendall.

Sixty seconds or so later Palace levelled again when Tetteh-Quaye Addy’s cross was volleyed into the back of the net.

For the R’s, Dalling fashioned an effort that went just wide of the post from Shodipo’s cross. Then Charley Kendall’s shot narrowly cleared the crossbar.

On 86 minutes, Nathan Carlyle was introduced at the expense of Aaron Drewe.

Amrit Bansal-McNulty was clearly fouled in the box in the latter stages and despite his remonstrations play was waved on. Chris told me later that Mark Bright also thought that it should have been awarded!

With the postponement of the match at Ipswich, next up for Paul Hall’s side is a friendly at Woking.

Steve Russell