Crystal PalaceSport

Fleetwood Town U18s 2-1 Crystal Palace U18s – young Eagles defeated in disappointing FA Youth Cup third round display


Crystal Palace continued their poor FA Youth Cup record as the U18s were beaten 2-1 by their Fleetwood Town counterparts.

Covy Smith netted twice in each half for Fleetwood to eliminate Paddy McCarthy’s side in the third round.

The young Eagles have not gone past the fifth round in the competition for 10 years. A Wilfried Zaha goal helped to knock out Derby County at Selhurst Park in 2010.

But at Highbury Stadium, there was to be no such success for a highly-rated side.

Fleetwood were excellent and relentlessly pressed the South Londoners. The likes of Fionn Mooney and substitute Jadan Raymond – two players who have had international recognition and have recently signed professional terms – were hardly allowed any time on the ball.

The hosts deservedly led late in the first half. Smith met a through ball and finished smartly across Owen Goodman.

Smith’s ferocious strike from a tight angle put Fleetwood 2-0 up early in the second period, with Goodman beaten by the sheer power of the effort.

Palace’s performance was disappointing and they struggled to create enough genuine scoring opportunities. Midfielder Jack Wells-Morrison was their best performer but had little movement ahead of him.

David Omilabu was thwarted by the excellent Sam Bird as he raced through on goal in the first half. The striker was also denied by goalkeeper Johnathon Borwick at 1-0.

It was Omilabu who scored Palace’s goal – scoring his fifth of the season from the penalty spot with 15 minutes remaining.

But there was to be no comeback by the Eagles, who have made an otherwise impressive start as a category 1 academy.

McCarthy’s side are fourth in the U18 Premier League South division, with games in hand over second and third-placed Brighton and Tottenham.

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