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Crawley sink Palace
Crawley Town produced their best performance of pre-season as they beat Premier League Crystal Palace 3-0 at the Broadfield Stadium.
Goals from Billy Clarke, Sergio Torres and Mat Sadler gave Richie Barker’s side a morale-boosting victory ahead of next Saturday’s League One opener at home to Coventry City.
The Reds looked a little ragged early on as full-strength Palace side put them under pressure. Twice the home side gave the ball away and twice Paul Jones came to their rescue, with saves from Dwight Gayle and Jerome Thomas.
But it was Crawley who went ahead on 28 minutes when Josh Simpson’s pass played in Gary Alexander whose cross was held up and Clarke seized on the loose ball to calmly slot home.
It was almost 2-0 four minutes later when skipper Josh Simpson burst forward from midfield and unleashed a shot which Julian Speroni did well to tip one-handed around a post at the expense of a corner.
Palace responded with Mile Jedanik’s strike from 25 yards which was going on until it hit Mark Connolly and flew round a post for a corner.
Palace made six changes at half-time and a further five by the midway point of the second half while Crawley gave a 45-minute run-out after the break to Bognor captain Kane Wills.
Crawley went close to extending their lead as Gary Alexander just failed to get on the end of a delightful James Hurst cross on 68 minutes.
Six minutes later the home fans got the second goal they craved when a stinging shot from Hurst was only pushed out by keeper Ross Fitzsimons to Torres who headed it back into the corner of the net.
The icing on the cake came on 88 minutes when Andy Drury lifted the ball across the penalty area for Sadler to volley home a tremendous goal.
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