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U18s 3-4 Crystal Palace - report

15 March 2016

United's U18s saw their remarkable winning run of eight matches come to an end following another seven-goal thriller against Crystal Palace at the SteelPhalt Academy on Saturday.

But this time the Blades, who had won two previous games 4-3 at Shirecliffe this season, were on the wrong end of the aforementioned scoreline against the Eagles, despite goals from Callum Semple, Tyler Smith and Brodie Litchfield.

The home side made a trademark quick start with Hallam and Smith looking a live threat, but it was the visitors who opened the scoring in the eighth minute from the penalty spot after the referee adjudged Adebowale's challenge to be an unfair one.

United's response saw Smith have three chances in quick succession, before the hosts levelled as SEMPLE powerfully headed home Hallam's corner, but parity lasted only two minutes as Palace regained the lead.

On the half hour, Hall stabbed home after Adebowale's header was only parried, but the linesman flag halted United's celebrations. But in the 41st minute, SMITH deservedly got the Blades back on level terms again as the team went in all square at the break.

The second-half was a much quieter affair in terms of goalmouth action; the Blades enjoyed plenty of possession, whilst the Eagles were dangerous on the counter.

After a flurry of home substitutions, Palace hit the bar in the 70th minute, then at the other end, with only six minutes remaining substitute LITCHFIELD made no mistake after a kind ricochet to fire United in front for the first time.
In the latter stages of the clash Maw and then Licthfield wasted opportunities to kill the game off and those missed chances proved costly.

In the first of five minutes of stoppage time Palace levelled, then with the last kick of the game, Eastwood could only parry a direct free-kick into the path of the onrushing visiting striker who applied the finishing touch, to condemn United to the cruelliest of defeats.

Blades: Eastwood, Charlesworth, Brown, Gilmour (Ford 63), Adebowale, Semple, T. Smith (Maw 67), Gordon, Hall, Hallam, Mallon (Litchfield 69).
Unused: Perryman, Cummings.

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