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MATCH REPORT: Crystal Palace U21s 1-1 Coventry City U21s - City make a point at Palace in strong performance

12 October 2015

Ivor Lawton forced off with a knee injury as Lateef Elford-Alliyu's penalty secures a point for City which could have been more...

Coventry City Under-21s continued their impressive start to the season with an impressive 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace, and might rue some late missed chances.

The Sky Blues have been enjoying some fine form of late having recorded a 4-1 victory over Colchester United at the Ricoh Arena in their last match.

Aaron Bissaka put the home side ahead after the break but Lateef Elford-Alliyu's penalty levelled the tie and guaranteed the Sky Blues a point.

It was Lee Glover's first game in charge of the Under-21s and he soon had a decision to make when Ivor Lawton was forced off injury after clashing with Palace's Connor Dymond.

Lawton was forced off with a knee injury and replaced with Bassala Sambou in a slow start to the game. Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong hit the post from close-range just on the half-hour before Dymond lashed an effort wide from long-range five minutes later.

The home side, who started with Julian Speroni and Zekki Fryers, almost went ahead in the final stages of the half but Hall blazed over from close-range.

Under-18s duo Reece Ford and Darragh Leahy were proving difficult to break down in defence as City started the second-half strongly.

Elford-Alliyu, who'd been unable to get into the game in the first-half, hit the post from inside the area in the 50th minute, before the linesman's flag was raised.

Ten minutes later, Palace made City pay when Bissaka found space to put the home side ahead and make it difficult for the Sky Blues.

However, as the group has continued to show throughout this campaign, City rallied and began to dominate possession. City were given the chance to equalise when Lokilo fouled Dion Kelly-Evans in the area and the referee awarded a penalty in the 67th minute.

Elford-Alliyu shook off the penalty he had saved in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy exit against Yeovil Town to put the ball beyond the reach of Speroni and equalise for the Sky Blues.

City continued to press forward and almost went ahead with a quarter of an hour remaining. After he was fouled on the edge of the area, Devon Kelly-Evans' curling free-kick smashed off the cross-bar before Sturgess cleared another effort off the line.

Devon Kelly-Evans and Dymond were both booked in the final stages before City went close again three minutes from time when Jordan Shipley's fierce effort tested the strength of the cross-bar once again.

City's final chance of the game saw Elford-Alliyu go through one-on-one with Speroni but the experienced stopper pulled out a magnificent save to secure a point for the home side as City might rue missed opportunities.


Teams

Coventry City U21s: Addai (GK), Phillips, Dion-Kelly-Evans, Lawton (Maycock 12), Ford, Leahy, Shipley, Thomas, Elford-Alliyu, Stevenson, Devon Kelly-Evans (Albini 87).

Subs: Skuza (GK), Whitmore, Sambou.

Crystal Palace U21s: Speroni (GK), Wynter, Dymond, Fryers, Sturgess, Pepe-Ngoma, Gray, Hoare, Berkeley-Agyemong, Bissaka, Hall (Lokilo 55).

Subs: Perntreou, O'Dwyer, Fundi, Breimyr.


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