Report: Crystal Palace U18s v Bolton Wanderers U18s

Bolton Wanderers U18s progressed past their Crystal Palace counterparts in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup 4-2 at Selhurst Park, with goals coming from Matty Argent-Barnes, a Siddik own goal and a Ronan Darcy double.

First Half

Wanderers had a chance three minutes in, with a Luca Connell’s free-kick stinging the gloves of the Crystal Palace goalkeeper from just outside the area.

A cross-field ball fell over the Palace backline that found Argent-Barnes soon after, who took aim from just inside the area but fired wide of the target.

The forward was in the thick of it once again, as he broke down the left wing before cutting inside and forced a full length diving save from goalkeeper Russell.

Following a strong 20 minute start, Palace were awarded a penalty as a long ball over the top of the Wanderers defence saw Donkin fouled by Wanderers goalkeeper Callum James.

Aviero stepped up for the Eagles and slotted it past James in the bottom left corner.

Wanderers responded well, with Max Broughton connecting with a high, looping corner to come close to equalising for Nicky Spooner’s men.

Another counter attack from Wanderers as Argent-Barnes fired a low cross across the box, which found King-Harmes who was inches away from finding that first goal for the Trotters.

David Boeteng stuck a long range effort at Bolton’s goal towards the end of the half, but James was more than equal to it.

Second Half

Moving into the second period and another Connell set-piece nearly found the back of the Palace net, as he struck a free-kick from just outside the area that whistled agonizingly close to the crossbar.

Wanderers finally found the equaliser from Matty Argent-Barnes, as he latches onto a Ronan Darcy pass before slotting the ball past Russell in the bottom right corner.

The Eagles responded with a shot from Addy, which tested James’ handling but the Welsh youth international held the ball well.

Eddie Brown managed to bundle his way through one-on-one just prior to hour mark, but he fired straight at Russell who quelled the danger.

However right on the 60 minute mark, as Addy played a no-look pass across the 18-yard box for David Boateng to coolly finish into the corner of James’ goal.

Whites skipper proved a constant threat for Wanderers from anywhere just outside the 18-yard area, as another free-kick from the Republic of Ireland youth international had Russell scrambling in the Palace goal.

It was soon 2-2 in the tie, as a fantastic run from Nathan Whalley down the left flank produced a deflected cross into the path of Darcy, who dispatched from 12 yards out smartly over Russell.

The next chance fell to Palace and Aveiro as he glided past two oncoming Wanderers defenders, before he smashed his effort inches wide of the woodwork.

With 12 minutes to go in the fourth round, Wanderers took the lead through a defensive mix at the back by the Eagles saw goalkeeper Russell cannon the ball off his own defender in Siddik and nestle into an empty Palace goal.

David Boateng began to try and pull the strings for Patrick McCarthy’s side, as he played a near inch perfect pass through the Whites defensive line that strayed just out of the path of winger Addy.

Nicky Spooner’s men made it four in added time that sealed the victory and berth into the next round, as Argent-Barnes played a delightfully weighted ball into Darcy who grabbed his second of the evening by placing the ball through Russell’s legs.

The U18s will now play Leicester City at home in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup with details of the clash to follow in due course.

Full Time

Wanderers XI: James, Whalley, White, Graham, Senior, Broughton, King-Harmes, Connell (C), Brown, Darcy, Argent-Barnes.

Subs: Preston, Alexander, Brown-Sterling, Holmes, Lockett.

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