Palace lined up on a cool but mild evening in Margate for their second club XI pre-season friendly with
new development head coach Jamie Fullarton taking charge from the bench, but largely opted to use the same
squad that had featured midweek under Dougie Freedman at Dulwich Hamlet.
Alex Wynter came in as centre back alongside Quade Taylor and Andy Dorman slotted into central midfield
alongside Alex Marrow. Ross Fitzsimmons started his first pre-season game in goal and upfront Kwesi Appiah
returned to his former club partnering Ibra Sekajja.
Margate seemed determined to make a mark early on and drew first blood as early as
just six minutes into the game. A cross came in from the right flank and rebounded in the penalty area off the
underside of the outstretched arm of Alex Wynter.
The referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot and Palace were off to a disappointing start as Tommy Whitnall slotted
home the ball into the bottom left of the goal for an early advantage.
Palace's first response arrived 14 minutes in. Keiron Cadogan was away chasing the ball down the left of
midfield, stretching to keep the ball in play, he delivered a decent cross past the nearest defender. In the middle
the ball was met by Sekajja's head beating the raised boot of the nearest Margate player, but he headed over under pressure.
Fitzsimmons was then called into action a moment later. As Margate broke, midfielder Sam Long shot
across goal, causing the young Palace 'keeper to make a diving one handed save.
The Eagles posed another problem for the home defence in the 18th minute. Appiah picked up the ball deep in his own
half in a central position and played a forward ball for Bayan Fenwick to run onto. Keeping his marker at bay the
youngster strode forwards towards the box, firing a low shot to the right post that was gathered by goalkeeper
It was only a further two minutes before the equaliser came. Sekajja picked up the ball just outside the area on
the right, and breaking into the area he fired an excellent shot into the top left hand corner of the net.
A further five minutes later, another chance for Appiah, this time shooting across goal but wide after some good
approach work on the right again from Fenwick.
Palace were not having it all their own way though, and Margate were proving eager opponents breaking out from the back
and playing the ball to both flanks. Tommy Murphy on the left in particular was causing some concern and he had a double
attempt just after the half hour mark.
First a pass from Marrow caught Fenwick on the hop, and the young winger found himself dispossessed. Murphy
cut inside and shot at Fitsimmons who claimed the ball. Then again a minute or so after he moved in from the left again
but this time his shot was fired well over the bar.
Then with six minutes remaining before the interval, Palace were victims of their own defending as Margate took a 2-1
lead. There were two attempted clearances from defence, but both were only directed up and not away from goal. From the
second the ball landed nicely at the feet of striker Carl Rook, who unmarked only had to slot the ball home from six yards
past the stranded Fitzsimmons to give the home side the lead.
So with 2-1 the half time score, Palace opted to make one change during the break and Jack Holland came on for Quade Taylor.
Unfortunately the second half started as badly as the first period and with 3 minutes gone, Palace found themselves with a two
goal deficit in similar circumstances to the second goal. There were again two attempted clearances but substitute Tyler Christian-Law shot goalward from the right hand side and beat Fitzsimmons at his near post to make it 3-1, with the goalkeeper unsighted.
Ten minutes in and there was a good chance for Palace to pull one back. Marrow played a good pass centrally to his left
where Sekajja was lurking in a good spot. Clear of the defenders but caught in two minds whether to shoot, he tried to
round the 'keeper, who blocked his path. A defender following up blocked the shot and the moment was lost.
As nearly an hour registered, Margate goalkeeper Holloway was called into diving action to tip away a shot from Sekajja.
Then with nine minutes still to go Palace had one more goal scoring opportunity, the goal bound shot
from Sekajja was pushed away to safety by the 'keeper.
Gus Sow did after this have a late rising shot but 3-1 was the final score, with Palace given a good work out by a Margate side deserving of
Palace Team: Fitzsimmons, Akuruka, Daniel, Dorman, Taylor, Wynter, Fenwick, Marrow, Sekajja, Appiah, Cadogan
Subs: Sow (For Appiah '65), Gregory, Chambers (For Wynter '69), Kaikai (For Marrow '71), Holland (For Taylor '45),
Boateng (For Fenwick '71)