After winning their previous two league games without conceding a goal, Palace Ladies breezed past title-favourites Gillingham in emphatic fashion in their first home games of the season.
The Ladies gave the large crowd a real footballing treat with the forward pair of Mary Robinson and Nicha Dyett in particular giving the opposition defence a torrid time. It was these two who combined for the first goal when after a pass by Alma Donohoe looked to be going out for a goal-kick, Robinson wouldn't give it up and managed to keep it in before beating the full-back and squaring for Dyett to fire past the keeper.
Palace did have other chances during the first 45 minutes which they failed to take, and so went into the break with just the single goal lead, but that would soon change after the restart when they scored just two minutes after play resumed.
Leesa Haydock fed Leanne Bell who in turn played in Robinson who once again got to the byline before squaring to Dyett who slipped the ball into the corner of the net for her second of the afternoon.
That was the cue for Palace to turn it on with Abi Igbavboa really coming into her own and dominating the midfield area. In the 58th minute it was Bell’s turn to chase down a lost cause, then managing to somehow rob the full-back and calmly chip the keeper to make it 3-0.
Bell had to leave the field a few minutes later after a clash of heads, but she was replaced by the equally lively Pam McRoberts who soon made her presence felt with some fine runs and crosses. On 75 minutes a fantastic move saw her square the ball to Haydock 25 yards out and a pin-point cross into the box saw Rochelle Shakes finish with a great side-foot volley.
The scoring was completed in the last minute when Igbavboa curled a lovely free-kick into the net for a well-deserved goal and complete a fantastic afternoon for the Ladies as they laid down an early marker against one of their promotion rivals.