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Match Reports

Report: Dagenham and Redbridge 1-0 Palace

3 August 2015

Palace ended their pre-season preparations with defeat at Dagenham and Redbridge, but managed to give 45 minutes to new signing Connor Wickham who made his Eagles debut hours after signing for the club.

In an end to end encounter with plenty of goalmouth action, Palace came up against a goalkeeper in inspired form in Mark Cousins who made a strong of excellent saves to deny the visitors, and Alan Pardew’s side were undone 15 minutes from time when Aaron McLean netted a rebound after Alex McCarthy denied Ashley Chambers.

The game started in competitive fashion and both sides were forced to make early changes with Zavon Hines injuring a foot before Fraizer Campbell was forced off after just six minutes following a heavy aerial collision.

After an evenly matched opening 15 minutes the hosts struck the crossbar when a miscued cross by Jodi Jones hit the frame of the Palace goal with McCarthy back-peddling, and on 21 minutes Wickham nearly netted his first Eagles goal when he was played in by Jake Gray but his fierce shot was beaten away by Cousins.

Sullay Kaikai then saw a free-kick from 20 yards out sail over the top, veteran striker Jamie Cureton took the ball down brilliantly before seeing his swivelling effort deflect narrowly wide, Patrick Bamford saw a blast rebound into Cousins’ grasp and Matt McClure scuffed a great chance wide as the game flowed from end to end.

Cousins was called into action again with five minutes of the half remaining when a header from Brede Hangeland needed dealing with, and soon after he was troubled again by Wickham who collected a pass from Bamford and shot on the turn but it was right at the shot-stopper.

The new man was subbed after getting his first 45 minutes in a Palace shirt and two minutes into the second half full-back Josh Passley burst down the right and let fly but saw his shot swerve away from goal.

Cousins then single-handedly managed to keep the scores level as he made three top quality saves in the space of 10 minutes, firstly producing a brilliant reaction stop to deny Bamford from lashing home a volley, and then the keeper denied the England under-21 international again with a flying stop when the striker drove the ball goalwards from 25 yards.

His best stop came when Chung-yong Lee, playing in an unnatural central position, broke forward and arrowed an effort towards the top corner but Cousins somehow managed to get a fingertip to it to divert it over his crossbar. That was his last action as he was replaced on the hour mark and given a good ovation by the Eagles fans for his heroics between the sticks.

The usual raft of substitutions slowed the game down during the middle of the second half and the Eagles blooded many of their development squad for the final half hour, but after Ashley Hemmings had put a powerful strike just past the post, the Daggers took the lead. 

Chambers received the ball 30 yards from goal in space and took it forward before drilling low and forcing McCarthy into a good save, but McLean was on hand to slide home the rebound and hand his side the advantage.

McCarthy once again was called into action when Chambers tested him with another attempt that skimmed along the surface, and Kaikai and Breimyr had late chances to level the scores with time expiring but both sent the ball wide of the mark.

Dagenham and Redbridge: Cousins (O’Brien 60), Passley (Gayle 71), Widdowson (Connors 60), Partridge, Nosworthy (McFadden 60), Boucaud (Chambers 68), McClure (Ferdinand 60), Cureton (Doidge 60), Hines (Hemmings 5), Jones (Hamalainen 78), Hamalainen (McLean 60). Subs not used: Dikamona.

Palace: McCarthy, Kelly, Hangeland (O’Dwyer 60), Croll, Scales, Dymond, Lee (Bissaka 68), Kaikai (Breimyr 68), Bamford, Wickham (Anderson 46), Campbell (Gray 8, Allassani 78). Subs not used: Kettings.

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