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U's beaten by Palace in friendly despite Ladapo brace
A second-half brace from Freddie Ladapo was not enough to prevent Colchester United falling to a 5-2 defeat against Crystal Palace in a under-21 friendly at the Weston Homes Community Stadium tonight.
Ladapo was among the goals and Colchester produced a spirited second-half display having been 3-0 down at half-time but Premier League new boys Palace proved too good for a young U's side.
And to compound Colchester's woes, their injury list was added to when goalkeeper Mark Cousins was forced off with a nasty gash to his leg following a clash with Palace's Jimmy Kebe, just before half-time.
Clinton Morrison, who made more than 300 league and cup appearances and scored more than 100 goals for Palace during two spells with the south London club, featured against his former employers.
And the presence of Marcus Bean in midfield added further experience to a youthful U’s line-up, which was skippered by Billy Roast.
The U's come up against a Palace side which boasted the likes of veteran Kevin Phillips, along with household names such as Kebe, Kevin Phillips and Jerome Thomas.
Colchester fell behind after only four minutes when Palace midfielder Jose Campana curled a fine free-kick past Cousins and into the bottom corner.
And the Premier League side doubled their lead after 20 minutes through Kebe, who pounced on Phillips' lay-off to coolly plant the ball into the net.
Palace further underlined their dominance seven minutes before the break when veteran Phillips pounced on a Thomas pass to fire home the visitors' third.
Colchester needed a good start to the second half but fell further behind less than 30 seconds after the restart when Stuart O'Keefe slotted in from close range, from Kebe's cross.
The U's did pull a goal back three minutes later through Ladapo, who hooked in Michael O'Donoghue's deep cross from close range.
But Palace's four-goal lead was restored with 20 minutes to go when Phillips found himself in space and finished clinically, after being picked out by substitute Sullay Kaikai.
Ladapo scored again with 12 minutes to go when he lashed home a powerful shot into the top corner, after finding himself in space in the Palace half.
But the U's were unable to reduce the deficit further, as Richard Hall's side were beaten.