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Report: Gillingham 0-3 Palace

PUBLISHED

21:20 23rd July 2013

Palace cruised to a 3-0 victory against Gillingham in their second match of their pre-season preperations with a classy display at Priestfield.

Ian Holloway handed new signing Jose Campana his first start in the Palace red and blue whilst continuing to look at trialists Atdie Nuhiu, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, Osman Sow and Jake Nicholson who all featured on a balmy night in Kent.

The visitors began brightly and only 30 seconds in a neat through-ball by Kyle De Silva allowed Dwight Gayle to break free from the Gillingham defence, and his strike and forced Stuart Nelson into a one-handed save. From the resulting corner the Eagles came even closer when Campana's delivery was met by the head of trialist Atdie Nuhiu but his looping effort bounced off the top of the bar.

Palace's new boys linked up together beautifully nine minutes later when Campana executed some nice skill to allow him the opportunity to cross for Gayle but a low save from Nelson saw him keep the ball out, and the Spanish under 20s captain was soon testing the opposition shot-stopper himself from 25 yards with a low drive that hit the keeper in the chest before he could get it under control.

The Eagles had been well on top with their midfield stringing the ball around nicely in the middle of the park but there was a warning from the Gills when Danny Kedwell blasted towards goal and forced Julian Speroni in his first save of the game.

However the Eagles went up up the other end and forced another corner which led to them taking the lead after 21 minutes. Campana's delivery was cleared towards the centre of the pitch where  Dean Moxey was waiting, and he lashed a low strike into the bottom corner to hand his side a deserved advantage.

Adebayo Akinfenwa had a great chance to pull the sides level seven minutes later when he was found by a cutback in the area but blazed wildly over the crossbar, and Speroni was again failed to be troubled when Kedwell's shot on the turn was next to land harmlessly in the stand as Holloway's men ended the first half a goal up.

Holloway changed his entire team for the second 45 minutes and it took some time for them to find their feet, and Kedwell again tested his luck after cutting in from the left and beating a couple of Eagles defenders but dragged his effort wide of the near post.

Palace could have gone two up when a goalmouth scramble was cleared into the path of Owusu-Abeyie who teed up Stephen Dobbie who missed the target, but on 68 minutes the Scot found himself in acres of space in the Gills half and lashed a low drive past the helpless Nelson to double the lead.

And Dobbie had a massive hand in Palace's third when his exquisite ball over the top allowed Owusu-Abeyie to use his pace to sprint past the Gills backline and slot the ball into the net.

The home side noticeably faded and moments later Dobbie found Bolasie on the edge of the area and his strike cracked against the crossbar as the Eagles searched for more, but ultimately had to settle for just the three and an impressive display.

Gillingham: Nelson, Fish, Martin (N'Gala 89), Linganzi (Grant 86), Legge (Davies 68), Whepdale, Akinfenwa (McDonald 56), Kedwell (German 72), Allen (Muggeton 83), Dack (Gregory 56), Barrett ©. 

Palace: Speroni (Fitzsimons 46), Taylor (Ward 46, Sow 83), Delaney (Gabbidon 46), Ramage (Wynter 46), Moxey (Jerome Williams 46), Jedinak © (O'Keefe 46), Campana (Nicholson 46), Jonny Williams (Owusu Abeyie 46), De Silva (Bolasie 46), Gayle (Dobbie 46), Nuhiu (Wilbraham 46).