Fulham U21s 2-4 Crystal Palace U21s

Friday 20 December 2013 15:00

Fulham Under-21s suffered a 4-2 defeat by Crystal Palace in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Friday afternoon.

After going behind to an excellent free-kick, the Whites responded through Ange-Freddy Plumain, although they found themselves 4-1 down as Palace turned the screw in the second half.

Fulham did pull one back through Lyle Della Verde’s sublime strike, but there wasn’t enough time remaining to attempt a fightback as the Eagles left Motspur Park with the victory.

The away side began the game strongly and squandered a great opportunity in the third minute. Quade Taylor threaded a ball in to Osman Sow in the area who squared it to Sullay Kaikai, but the giant striker placed his effort wide when hitting the target was the minimum required.

The Whites responded quickly and a neat one-two between Muamer Tankovic and Lasse Vigen Christensen almost created a shooting chance two minutes later but the ball was smuggled behind for a corner.

Following that set-piece, Della Verde tried his luck with a powerful effort that Palace goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons managed to claim at the second attempt, with the visitors then going up the other end and sending Sow scampering clear, but Max Oberschmidt was out quickly to beat him to the ball.

But the next attempt found the back of the net, and in some style too. The Eagles won a free-kick 25 yards out and Ibra Sekajja stepped up to plant a sumptuous effort into the postage stamp of the goal.

Tankovic sent a speculative effort wide five minutes later when he controlled Della Verde’s cross on his chest with his back to goal and sent an ambitious overhead-kick a yard off target.

It was 10 minutes before the next chance of note and it again fell the way of the hosts as Della Verde drilled a curling effort some way wide. And the winger was involved again shortly after as he stood up a brilliant cross to the far post that Plumain headed downwards, only to see Fitzsimons push it behind for a corner.

Fulham were rewarded for their dominance just after the half-hour mark with the equaliser arriving after Josh Passley made a driving run before squaring to Vigen Christensen. He, in turn, fed Plumain who struck a composed finish across the keeper and into the far corner of the net.

Palace looked to regain their lead before the interval but efforts from Kaikai and Sow were never hitting the target, although they came very close four minutes after the restart when a free-kick was flicked on and drew a fine reflex stop from substitute keeper Magnus Norman who tipped it onto the post.

Their advantage was restored moments later, though, when left-back Alex Wynter galloped forwards and hit an unstoppable strike across Norman and into the far top corner of the net.

And the Eagles had their third not long after when Kaikai bullied Jack Grimmer off the ball in the area before playing a simple pass to the waiting Derek Tieku who made no mistake from 12 yards.

Della Verde offered a response three minutes later but saw his powerful shot beaten away by Fitzsimons, before Tieku drew a stop from Norman at the other end.

With a quarter of an hour remaining, Tankovic hit a well-struck effort from distance that had plenty of curl, but not quite enough for it to bend back on target as it sailed wide of the far post, before Chris David shot straight at Fitzsimons who held the strike comfortably.

Palace’s fourth goal arrived with five minutes remaining when Reise Allassani twisted and turned in the area before squeezing the ball under Norman, although the Whites grabbed another consolation when Della Verde cut in from the right and sent a fine effort over the keeper and into the top corner.

Former Fulham Academy member Tieku then smashed the game’s final opportunity wide in stoppage time.

Fulham: Oberschmidt (Norman 46), Passley, Buatu (Arthurworrey 46), O’Reilly (Grimmer 46), Kavanagh (Richards 46), Della Verde, Trialist (Minkwitz 46), Vigen Christensen, Plumain, David, Tankovic.