Crystal Palace’s first pre-season friendly was played in front of a sell-out crowd at Maidstone United as the home side celebrated their fifth anniversary at the Gallagher Stadium.
Frank de Boer took his place in the dugout for the first time as Palace boss and used this match as an opportunity to take a look at some of the younger members of his squad.
The first half opened with Andre Coker and Jason Lokilo having a couple of early chances, Coker seeing his shot blocked whilst Lokilo's free kick was cleared for a corner.
Palace opened the scoring on fifteen minutes when Jordon Mutch took advantage of goalkeeper Lee Worgan not claiming the ball and the midfielder went past him and converted the chance to give the visitors an early lead.
Maidstone came straight back to try and get on level terms and Woods had to block a shot from Stuart Lewis and Eagles goalkeeper Kleton Perntreou claimed a chance that fell to Joe Piggot.
Piggot was soon back in the action again when he took a free kick just outside the box and he made no mistake beating the ‘keeper this time with an excellent set piece into the roof of the net to bring the home side back on level terms.
The travelling support though didn’t have too long to wait before they were celebrating another goal as Mutch was once again on target. Coker let a cross from Tyler Brown run through to Mutch, who finished off a fine move to send Palace into the break with a 2-1 advantage.
The second half started with chances at both ends, Worgan saved well to deny Lokilo before having to push out a chance soon after from Coker and Perntreou was on hand to push a shot from distance by Lewis over the bar as the home side looked to get back on level terms.
With twenty minutes remaining substitute Jacob Berkeley added to Palace’s goal tally and with the home side having a late effort from Jack Richards ruled out for offside it was to be a 3-1 victory in the first pre-season fixture as the squad began their preparations for the start of the new season.
Maidstone Utd: Worgan, Prestedge, Lokko, Okuonghae, Lewis, Sam-Yorke, Paxman, Wraight, Anderson, Twumasi, Pigott
Subs: Hare, Phipps, Richards, Willard, Campbell, Thomas, Capel, Chambers, Dorling, Cooper, Campanella, Lawson.
Crystal Palace: Perntreou, Woods, Brown, McGregor, Tavares, Owens, Lumeka, Flanagan, Coker, Lokilo, Mutch
Subs: Curtis-Henry (Perntreou), Berkeley (Lokilo), Fundi (Coker), Hungbo (Mutch), Daly (Taylor), Ossai (Lumeka), Norman-Williams (Flanagan).