Bowler penalty not enough as Eagles soar
JOSH Bowler’s late penalty proved a consolation as QPR Under-23s lost to Crystal Palace on Monday.
Following a goalless first 45 minutes in south London, second-half goals from Levi Lumeka and substitute Francis Jno-Baptiste gave Palace the lead at Dulwich Hamlet FC.
Bowler handed Paul Hall's side hope from the spot late on, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the hosts taking all three points.
After a quiet start, Rangers were dealt a blow when Alex Finney was forced off through injury following a late challenge which went unpunished.
Insult was almost added to injury moments later. Jonathan Benteke had a sight of goal but his close-range shot was blocked by R’s goalkeeper Seny Dieng, while the rebound was cleared off the line.
The only other effort of note during the first period saw Dieng make a simpler save to keep out Benteke’s strike-partner Nya Kirby.
The deadlock was broken, however, six minutes after the re-start. Lumeka burst forward before slotting his shot underneath Dieng to fire the hosts ahead.
Palace would have had a second minutes later, but Dieng came to the R’s rescue again – this time thwarting Benteke following a right-wing cross.
Rangers threatened through Jeremy Arthur and substitute Dan Darbyshire, but it was Palace who netted the all-important second goal four minutes from time. Lumeka this time turned provider, crossing for substitute Jno-Baptiste to double the Eagles’ lead.
The R's made an instant response. After Darbyshire was fouled in the box, Bowler tucked away the penalty but it couldn't prevent Palace holding on for the win.
QPR: Dieng, Paul (Ebuzoeme 71), Hamalainen, Owens, Arthur, Finney (Rowe 26), Bowler, Eze, Wright, Chair, Grego-Cox (Darbyshire 59).
Sub (not used): Herdman.
Goal: Bowler pen 87.