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Dover Athletic 0–4 Crystal Palace: Dann the man for Eagles in easy FA Cup win


CRYSTAL Palace cruised into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable victory at Conference Premier side Dover Athletic this afternoon.

It was one-sided for the majority, with the hosts barely testing Eagles goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Defender Scott Dann scored Palace's first couple of goals in the first half, before Dwight Gayle and Kevin Doyle wrapped it up with further finishes.

For Dover, they just didn't look like causing a famous upset in the FA Cup.

The Eagles went very close to opening the scoring after just 40 seconds.

Wilfried Zaha did well on the left and delivered into the box, which saw Glenn Murray force a flying save from Andrew Rafferty from his header.

Barry Bannan had a shot saved at the near post soon after, and he could have instead squared to Zaha unmarked.

Murray was then denied twice in quick succession from Rafferty, first seeing his shot saved low down by the stopper before a close range header was clawed away.

The pressure mounted and it was only a matter of time before the visitors took the lead – which they did in the tenth minute.

A ball came in from the left, flicked on by Murray and there was centre-back Scott Dann unmarked for an easy tap-in at the back post.

Dover did their best to get into the contest with some neat passing but the ball would eventually fall back into Palace's hands – and once they had it, it was very hard for the hosts to get it back.

There were penalty shouts at either end in the space of 30 seconds, before Dover had another one for handball against Martin Kelly following a cross, but referee Andre Marriner gave a corner instead.

However, Palace deservedly doubled their lead after 34 minutes through Dann again. A corner was sent direct to the far post and there was the defender to powerfully head home through a crowd of players.

And right-back Joel Ward nearly got in on the act a minute later when he forced Rafferty into a good stop at his near post.

Dover's Tom Bonner nearly latched on to a long ball forward but Wayne Hennessey raced out to gather before the half-time whistle was blown.

Kevin Doyle replaced Murray at the break, and the Irishman forced Rafferty to tip the ball over for a corner.

And Dann, on a hat-trick, rose again to power a header towards goal, but it was easy for Rafferty this time.

Around the hour-mark, Stuart O'Keefe should have wrapped it up with a third, collecting Zaha's square pass on the edge of the box but he placed over the crossbar.

It was turning into a training ground exercise at this stage, with the Eagles comfortable and spraying the ball around.

Dover brought on the tricky Christian Nanetti for Sean Raggett but Palace continued to dominate play.

Dann headed wide from a corner soon after, but then it was game over as far as Dover were concerned as the Eagles grabbed a third.

Gayle got it, latching on to a pass, beating his marker and driving a left-foot shot home at Rafferty's near post.

Jerome Thomas came on for Gayle with 18 minutes remaining, while Adrian Mariappa also got some game-time, replacing Ledley.

In a rare attack for Dover, Nanetti burst down the right and picked out a team-mate on the far left, and despite winning a corner, it was easy for Hennessey to claim in the end.

In fact, it was easy for the custodian all afternoon, catching everything in the air that came his way.

Palace grabbed a fourth with three minutes remaining when Thomas delivered from the left and Doyle claimed an easy tap-in.

Dover will be disappointed not to have really given Palace a scare, with hardly any efforts on goal throughout the 90 minutes.

For the Eagles, they march into the next phase of the world's famous cup competition.

Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Kelly, Dann, Delaney, O'Keefe, Ledley (Mariappa 75), Bannan, Zaha, Gayle (Thomas 72), Murray (Doyle 46).

Subs Not Used: Kettings, Hangeland, Guedioura, Puncheon.

Dover Athletic: Rafferty, Raggett (Nanetti 57), Orlu, Bellamy (Wynter 69), Murphy (Modeste 81), Cogan, Payne, Deverdics, Sterling, Essam, Bonner.

Subs Not Used: Francis, Reid, Hook, Lock.

Referee: Andre Marriner

Report by Mark Ritson, at Crabble Stadium

Dover Athletic 0–4 Crystal Palace: Dann the man for Eagles in easy FA Cup win

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