Report: Hull City U23s 2 Crystal Palace U23s 1
Goals from Jon Toral and Luca Navarro helped Hull City Under-23s end their winless run with a 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday evening.
Navarro was one of two trialists included in Jon Beale’s line-up, the other being right back Bilal Kamal. George Long was given a run out in the City goal and Josh Thacker, Max Sheaf and Billy Chadwick also returned to the starting eleven.
Callum Burton, Ahmed Salam, Jacob Greaves, Owen Evans, Matthew Argent-Barnes and Keane Lewis-Potter, who is currently on loan at Bradford Park Avenue, were the players omitted.
The Tigers created an early chance to open the scoring following good play from Toral on the right but, from his pull back, Navarro could only fire his effort high over the crossbar.
There was a lengthy hold-up when Ryan Inniss went down injured, which resulted in the Palace defender being replaced by Jacob Mensah.
The visitors were unlucky not to take the lead just before the 20 minute mark when Levi Lumeka saw his low shot from the edge of the box come back off the base of the post.
And the Tigers took full advantage of that slice of luck by taking a 23rd minute lead. Chadwick did well on the right and from his lay back Toral’s composed finish found the bottom corner of the net.
Just two minutes later, Beale's side doubled their lead. Tyler Hamilton’s pass released Sheaf and although his shot was kept out by Palace keeper Joe Tupper, Navarro reacted the quickest to fire in the rebound.
Malachi Boateng fired high and wide and Luke Dreher saw a shot blocked as the Eagles attempted to reduce the deficit but it was the Tigers who could have increased their lead before the break when Toral was sent clear, only for the Spaniard to be denied by Tupper who then made a good save to tip a Navarro shot round the post but the offside flag would have ruled that effort out anyway.
The Tigers had a good chance to increase their lead early in the second period as Toral’s pass released Chadwick but his low shot was blocked by Tupper.
Palace replied with Kian Flanagan firing over from Gio McGregor’s cut back before the home side had a couple of chances with Hamilton firing wide from just outside the box and Chadwick shooting narrowly off target from Toral’s pass.
The Eagles were looking much more dangerous in the second period and Flanagan flashed a left foot strike across the face of goal with James Daly inches away from a decisive touch as he slid in at the far post.
Flanagan fired another shot narrowly over the bar before the visitors pulled a goal back in the 70th minute. Substitute Brandon Pierrick provided the cross from the right and McGregor’s shot found the back of the net via the aid of a deflection.
Luck was on Tigers' side when Palace struck the woodwork for the second time of the game as the chased an equaliser nine minutes from time. Lumeka’s cross from the left found McGregor on the edge of the box and his shot beat Long, only to come back off the post.
The Eagles had one final chance to grab an equaliser when a corner was only half cleared but Malachi Boateng’s right foot shot was high and wide.
Hull City: George Long, Bilal Kamal, Brandon Fleming, James Weir (Elliot Holmes 75), Lewis Ritson, Josh Thacker, Tyler Hamilton (Ahmed Salam 65), Max Sheaf, Billy Chadwick, Jon Toral, Luca Navarro (Callum Smith 81).
Subs Not Used: Harvey Cartwright, Tom Powell.
Crystal Palace: Joe Tupper, Nikola Tavares, David Boateng, Malachi Boateng, Lewis Hobbs, Ryan Inniss (Jacob Mensah 14), Gio McGregor, Luke Dreher (Brandon Pierrick 59), James Daly, Kian Flanagan (Brandon Aveiro 77), Levi Lumeka.
Subs Not Used: Ollie Webber, Tyrick Mitchell.