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November 24 2020 4.06am

Gillingham 3 - 0 Palace

Wed Nov 21 2001 - League

Crystal Palace missed out on a chance to go top of the First Division after a 3-0 defeat to Gillingham at Priestfield.

The game was all over within 33 minutes as Palace were comprehensivly out-played.

Guy Ipoua opened the scoring after nine minutes, after being set up by Marcus Browning.

Iffy Onuora doubled the lead on 20 when he headed home a free-kick from former Eagle Simon Osborn past Matt Clarke.

Ipoua got his second and put the game beyond reach 13 minutes later when Paul Smith put him through.

Post match comments:

Steve Kember was disappointed with the Palace defence after the Eagles lost 3-0 away to Gillingham.

Palace would have gone top of the division had they won, instead suffered their second heavy defeat in a row at Priestfield.

He said: "When Gillingham scored their first goal it got their tails up and the second goal was just bad marking by us from the set piece and you can't legislate for that.

"Somebody did not pick somebody up when they should have done. I wouldn't blame our 'keeper for the second one.

"With the wind it seemed to swirl and the ball came in at the far post. It's two years on the trot we've been here and got battered.

"Unfortunately on the night we did not do ourselves justice. We played nowhere near as well as we can do and we were second best all night.

"I felt several of our key players did not play particularly well on the night and we didn't work hard enough.

"There were so many things that didn't go right for us and you could tell that 10 minutes into the second half, when we thought we might get an early goal back, that it wasn't going to be our night."

Andy Hessenthaler said: "We were a little bit shaky in the first 10 minutes and took our time to settle down but once we got the first goal I thought we were just too strong for them.

"The three guys up front were causing Palace all sorts of problems and our midfielders were winning the second ball.

"Barry Ashby and Chris Hope were both told to do a job on their front two, Dougie Freedman and Clinton Morrison, who are on fire at the moment and they kept them quiet all night."

He added: "It's nice that we have kept a clean sheet in our last three games and to score three goals and the three points has jumped us four places up the table which is also very good.

"Confidence is getting there and I believe in the players and they believe in themselves - but I think they will have to believe a little bit more at times and if they can do that then we can definitely climb the table.

"Palace are no mugs, they are third from top and there on merit. Tonight, though, I thought we made them look very ordinary.

"I thought all my lads were first class tonight and you can't really pick any individual out. It was a great team performance.

"Guy Ipoua took his two goals very well. He can be frustrating at times but he is unbelievable as well. He had a fantastic game and he was desperate to score his hat-trick and probably tried a little too hard."

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Match Stats

Ground: Priestfield Stadium (Attendance: 9396)

Gillingham: Bartram, Ashby, Nosworthy, Hope, Smith, Perpetuini, Browning (Saunders 87), Osborn, King, Ipoua, Onuora (Shaw 71).

Subs not used: Butters, Patterson, Hessenthaler.

Bookings: Browning, Hope, Onuora, Smith.

Goals: Ipoua 9, Onuora 20, Ipoua 33.

Palace: Clarke, Austin, Edwards, Mullins, Hopkin, Rodger (Black 64), Riihilahti, Gray, Kirovski (Berhalter 79), Freedman, Morrison.

Subs not used: Kolinko, Thomson, Kabba.

Bookings: Hopkin, Morrison, Riihilahti.

Referee: P. S. Danson (Leicester)

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