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Report: City U23s 0-2 Crystal Palace U23s

City Under-23s were edged out by their Crystal Palace counterparts, losing 2-0 under the Ashton Gate lights on Monday (October 15th).

A Levi Lumeka double either side of half time meant the three points would be going to the away side.

Luke Williams named a strong line-up for the evening clash in BS3, with a mix of players out on loan, players returning from injury, as well as a number of young players.

Max on his toes

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors when Palace put the ball across the City goalmouth and Tq Addy looked to have the easiest of tap-ins, but for a magnificent save from Max O’Leary.

The City keeper then made another big save from Addy moments later, denying the Palace frontman’s shot with his feet.

He would make his third save of the evening, this time tipping Lumeka’s venomous effort over the bar.

City would not be without their chances though as Mo Eisa had a couple of shots on goal and Liam Walsh’s free-kick failed to clear the wall.

A near-own goal from a Palace defender almost gave City the lead. George Nurse did well on the left-hand side and flashed a ball across goal, but the touch went wide of the post.

Palace breakthrough

The away side would take the lead shortly after, however. Palace capitalised on some relaxed City defending, and Lumeka fired beyond O’Leary.

Despite many chances in the first half, the game’s second half struggled to get going. Both sides were unable to threaten each other’s goals.

Under-23s manager Williams would make a triple substitution twenty minutes from time in order to salvage something from the game.

Eisa, returning from injury, played 70 minutes under the lights, with Marley Watkins also receiving a run-out before being substituted.

Chris Turner-Williams, one of the three changes, almost made an instant impact. The 18-year-old made a late run into the Palace box, but his half-volley didn’t hit the target.

Game, set and match

And the game was sealed all-but moments later, as Palace grabbed a second goal of the night. Lumeka latched on to a long ball forward and finished past O’Leary.

City captain on the evening Jens Hegeler had a speculative effort on goal five minutes from time but it wasn’t going to threaten Joe Tupper in the Palace goal.

Shawn McCoulsky also had an effort in the dying embers of the game but his strike was tame and easy for the goalkeeper to handle.

Attention now turns to Friday (October 19th), as the youngsters travel away to Wingate and Finchley FC where they play Watford.

City Under-23s: O’Leary, Pring, Nurse, Morton (H Smith), Hegeler, Harrison, Hinds, Walsh, McCoulsky, Eisa (Rees), Watkins (Turner-Williams). Subs not used: Buse, Ali.

Words: Ryan Payne

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