QPR U23s v Crystal Palace U23s
IT was Eze three-sy for QPR Under-23s on Monday, as a hat-trick from Ebere Eze fired Paul Hall’s side to a second successive 4-1 win at the expense of Crystal Palace.
Rangers had to come from behind at Harlington, where Eze’s equaliser just before the break ensured the sides went in level at half-time.
The second half was a one-sided story, though. Two more goals from Eze – including a 30-yard screamer – either side of one from strike partner Brandon Adams ensured the R’s continued their unbeaten start to the season in style and with maximum points.
It was the visitors who made the early running at Harlington, however, and were rewarded with an opening goal inside seven minutes. A ball down the left set Corie Andrews free, who slid his shot underneath Joe Lumley from a tight angle.
At the other end, Axel Prohouly provided the R’s first effort of note after linking up well with Adams. His effort soared just over the crossbar from 20 yards.
Meanwhile, Rangers were indebted to their defence for ensuring they didn’t fall further behind. After Palace spurned a flurry of chances during a goalmouth scramble, moments later Jack Williams was on hand to block from Levi Lumeka on the goal-line.
The R’s improved as the half wore on, and almost levelled through Adams. The striker did well to shrug off his marker but had his shot blocked in the box.
They finally made the breakthrough three minutes before the break. Adams turned provider, laying the ball across the six-yard box for Eze to slot home with a simple finish.
Having restored parity by the interval, Rangers wasted little time in completing the comeback moments after the re-start.
Darbyshire was inches away from doing just that when a deflection took his low shot just past the post.
Respite was brief for the visitors, though, as Rangers netted from the resulting corner. Brandon Barzey’s cross fell kindly at the feet of Adams, who swivelled to fire past Kienton Perntreou in the Palace goal.
And it was 3-1 soon after. Eze picked up the ball 30 yards out before unleashing an unstoppable effort which Perntreou could only help on its way into the top right-hand corner.
Rangers were cruising by this point, although they had substitute Romeo Akinola to thank for throwing his body in the way of a goal-bound shot midway through the second period.
At the other end, Darbyshire again threatened but this time Perntreou was equal to the effort.
There was time for Eze to complete his hat-trick, however, as Rangers set the seal on victory six minutes from time. Darbyshire robbed the Palace defence before teeing-up the striker for his third and the R’s fourth goal of the afternoon.
QPR: Lumley, Barzey (Folkes 75), Williams, Campbell-Young, Arthur, Lang, Prohouly (Akinola 40), Manning (Alfa 60), Adams, Eze, Darbyshire.
Sub (not used): Dieng.
Goals: Eze 42, 55, 84, Adams 48.