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Walsall 0–3 Crystal Palace: It's all Dwight at Palace as striker notches hat-trick

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CRYSTAL Palace are through to the third round of the Capital One Cup after a 3-0 win at Walsall this evening. Dwight Gayle was the hero, notching an impressive first half hat-trick, before it became more-or-less a training ground exercise against the League One side. A number of Palace squad members were given run-outs, with Adlene Guedioura standing out in the middle of the park and staking a claim to play alongside Mile Jedinak at Newcastle United on Saturday. And Gayle's three goals could put him ahead of either Marouane Chamakh or Fraizer Campbell on Tyneside. The hosts were bright in the opening five minutes, with Wayne Hennessey called into action to save Billy Clifford's well-struck free-kick. But Palace soon silenced the home crowd when Dwight Gayle put his side ahead. A quickly-take free-kick from Adlene Guedioura found the striker unmarked on the right side of the box, before he sent a ferocious shot into the bottom corner. The frontman was very close to doubling his goal tally two minutes later when Jerome Thomas' wicked cross found him at the far post, but Walsall defender Paul Downing did enough to put him off. It wasn't all Palace, though, as Clifford stung Hennessey's gloves with another long range. But Keith Millen's men did grab a second through that man Gayle after 27 minutes, direct from a free-kick, shooting low into the bottom corner to beat Richard O'Donnell. Barry Bannan went close to adding a third when his volley went over from the edge of the box, before the Scotsman had another go from range but got it all wrong. It was very nearly number three when Guedioura lofted a pass into the onrushing Thomas, whose first time cross was only cleared to Adrian Mariappa, and the right-back's decent ball into the far post was a little too much for Gayle to connect with. However, Gayle secured his hat-trick before the break with a brilliant low finish after running at the home defence. Brede Hangeland was given a run out in the West Midlands, coming for Damien Delaney at the break. Walsall were a whisker away from grabbing goal back four minutes into the second period when Ashley Grimes' shot beat Hennessey, hit the post and came off the custodian. And to their credit, they kept the pressure on Palace with a couple of dangerous crosses into the danger area. Murray nearly put the hosts to bed though when he picked the ball up in a central position, ran at the home defence and powered a shot inches past the post. Gayle made way for Development Squad member Jake Gray on the hour, with the striker's work certainly done for the evening. And with 15 minutes remaining, Owen Garvan came on for Williams. Walsall huffed and puffed to the end but without a real end product, but Adam Chambers nearly changed that with eight minutes remaining when his header went inches wide of the bottom corner. But 3-0 was the way it stayed and Palace advance to the next round. Palace: Hennessey, Mariappa, McCarthy ©, Delaney (Hangeland 46), Binnom-Williams, Bannan, Williams (Garvan 75), Guedioura, Thomas, Murray, Gayle (Gray 61). Subs Not Used: Kettings, Boateng, KaiKai, Puncheon. Attendance: 3,987 (879 Palace fans) Referee: Mr Drysdale

Walsall 0–3 Crystal Palace: It’s all Dwight at Palace as striker notches hat-trick


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