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U23s Report: Palace appear bright in dramatic first top-flight challenge

After the first-team made headlines over the weekend, Crystal Palace Under-23s made history today by starting their first competitive match as a Category 1 Academy. The achievement is the realisation of years of work behind the scenes and marks a huge step-up in the club’s status and future.

To celebrate the occasion, Palace were able to field a roster of players with first-team experience - two, Martin Kelly and Christian Benteke, with hundreds of appearances between them.


  • Christian Benteke and Martin Kelly start in a strong lineup
  • Fin Thorndike scores for West Brom minutes after Palace’s Alfie Matthews hits the crossbar
  • The Eagles enjoy several chances and Scott Banks takes their first after 35 minutes
  • Half-time: Crystal Palace 1-1 West Bromwich Albion U23s
  • The Baggies net their second minutes into the second-half via Windsor
  • After a quiet spell, Palace pull level through a Banks penalty
  • Very late in the game, Kian Flanagan drills home Palace's third
  • Even later, Cheikh Diaby drills home a dying seconds equaliser
  • Full-time: Crystal Palace 3-3 West Bromwich Albion U23s
U23s v West Brom 01.jpg

But the Eagles’ strengthened hand didn’t entitle them to an easy afternoon, and West Brom appeared sharp as they pressed their hosts early on.