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Report: Dulwich Hamlet 1-4 Palace

PUBLISHED

21:35 6th August 2013


A brace from Crystal Palace new boy Elliot Grandin helped the Eagles run out convincing 4-1 winners over Dulwich Hamlet in their final away trip of pre-season.

A mixed blend of youth and first team experience made the short trip north to Champion Hill, but Palace's Premier League quality shone through in an assured display.

Goals from Grandin, Jerome Williams and Yannick Bolasie were more than enough to give Ian Holloway's side the victory, but they could have returned to SE25 with even more goals to show for their performance against their non-league neighbours. 

Palace certainly settled the better side and dominated the ball in the opening stages without creating a clear-cut chance. But despite some neat link-up play in the midfield area, their first real opening came through a route one approach. A long diagonal ball by Alex Wynter took the Dulwich Hamlet defence out of the game, presenting Kwesi Appiah with a great chance, but his left-footed effort was well blocked by Phil Wilson in goal.

Holloway's men began to apply the pressure with Owen Garvan seeing a stinging 20-yard drive headed clear by Ryan James, before Grandin's dangerous low cross just evaded Appiah at the back post.  

The Eagles' best chance of the opening 25 minutes came in similar fashion to their first sight of goal, as Wynter's long clearance caught out the Dulwich centre-backs, presenting Appiah with another one-on-one opportunity. Wilson was again his equal with a smart stop, and when the rebound fell to Osman Sow, his left-footed effort was charged down by Lewis Goncalves.

Dulwich had a chance to take the lead themselves when a whipped Dean Lodge cross was scrambled clear, but ironically it was from the home side's first meaningul attack of the game that Palace took the lead on 27 minutes. The Eagles countered quickly and when Grandin found himself clean through on goal, he coolly slotted past the advancing Wilson. 

Holloway's Premier League charges seemed in control of the game, without ever threatening to double their lead. But their Isthmian League Premier Divison opponents grabbed an unlikely equaliser with six minutes of the first half remaining. Scorer of the opening goal Grandin was caught in possession on the edge of his own box as he attempted to clear, allowing Erhun Oztumer the opportunity to level the scores, which he took with real aplomb past a helpless Lewis Price.

The half-time introductions of Bolasie and Dwight Gayle provided some fresh impetus and pace up front for Palace, and it was the former who put in a low cross form the left to pick out Grandin on the edge of the box, who fired past Wilson five minutes into the second half. 

Merely 60 seconds later, Bolasie was involved again, linking up well with Williams down the left. The young left-back found himself in a similar position to Grandin on the edge of the Dulwich box and the result was identical too, as he smashed a low left-footed drive past Wilson, who stood no chance in goal.

Dulwich refused to lie down though and sub keeper David Gregory was forced into a smart save after Oztumer found strike partner Ottoway in space 20 yards from goal. His stinging drive was well dealt with by the young stopper though to maintain Palace's two-goal advantage.

They almost found themselves three goals ahead when Gayle showed neat feet in the middle of park, before dinking a ball into the path of De Silva, who could only find the side netting from a tight angle. 

But they didn't have to wait too long for the fourth goal, when Jake Gray capitalised on a loose pass to play in Gayle on 70 minutes. His shot was kept out by Wilson and when the ball looped up to an unmarked Bolasie, the Democratic Republic of Congo international controlled the ball calmly on his chest, before drilling a right-foot volley past he keeper and into the bottom corner.   

With the home side tiring, Palace had a couple of chances to further extend their lead, as Gayle fired inches wide with a driven effort across Wilson's goal. But the Eagles were made to settle for four, as they completed a routine victory ahead of Saturday's clash with Lazio at Selhurst Park. 

Dulwich: Wilson, Boyer, James, Goncalves, Okoye, Pinnock, Crook, Lodge, Green, Oztumer, Ottoway. 

Palace: Price (Gregory 49), McCarthy (Taylor 46), Ramage (Dymond 46), Wynter (Egbo 77), Jerome Williams (Berkeley-Agyepong 69), Dikgacoi (Boateng 61), Grandin (Gus Sow 61), Garvan (Gray 61), De Silva (Allassani 69), Osman Sow (Kaikai 29, Gayle 46), Appiah (Bolasie 46).