Fulham’s Under-21s slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday evening.
With both teams starting brightly, either could well have been in front inside 10 minutes with Matthew Briggs moving Ross Fitzsimons into a decent low save early on, while moments later Jason Banton fired the hosts’ first real chance narrowly wide.
Ibra Sekajja then struck the crossbar for the Eagles with a stinging strike from the edge of the box, before James Musa headed wide when well placed at the other end.
It was an opportunity Kit Symons’ side were left to rue, when on 23 minutes, Banton teed up Appiah who finished coolly past David Stockdale.
Palace should have doubled their lead on 35 minutes after Bayan Fenwick was felled in the box. Sekajja stepped up, but fortunately Stockdale read the strike well in making a brilliant one-handed save.
Kerim Frei went close to an equaliser in the second-half, but again Fitzsimons proved a worthy match making a fine stop to deny the midfielder.
Frei tested the Palace defence again following a lovely 50 yard run from deep, but dragged his effort wide with the goal in sight. Pajtim Kasami also saw a good chance come and go, firing straight at the Palace stopper.
Stockdale made two fine saves at the opposite end to deny the impressive Banton as Palace responded with renewed vigour. Despite creating a number of chances Fulham’s breakthrough strike proved elusive, and as a result, Palace held on for the win.
“It was a disappointing night, this was a very poor display,” said Symons to fulhamfc.com. “We are much better than that, and despite being a relatively experienced side we just didn’t perform.
“Had it not been for Stockdale we could have lost by a few more. We were better in the second-half, and perhaps on another night we could have taken something – but that probably would have been unfair on Palace because I thought they played well.
“The boys were very frustrated as you would expect, but we have to go away now and work on putting things right. They know it wasn’t good enough and they have to make up for that in the next game – which sees us travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers next Monday.”
Fulham U21: Stockdale; Brister, Grimmer, Musa, Briggs; Tavares, Smith (Christensen 75), Frei; Kasami (Williams 65), Banya, Trotta (Islamovic 75). Subs not used: Joronen, Kavanagh.