Crystal Palace enjoy fine start to pre-season campaign with 13-1 rout

Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace - 23/02/2014

Crystal Palace got their pre-season campaign off to a flying start as they beat Austrian side GAK Graz 13-1, with Stephen Dobbie grabbing four of the goals.

Tony Pulis's side picked up where they left off last season in terms of goalscoring but set a club-record with their 13-1 demolition of GAK Graz the biggest-ever victory recorded by The Eagles.

Pulis changed his entire starting eleven at halftime, but every player impressed in a huge win that sets the side up well ahead of the new campaign that kicks off in a month's time.

First-half goals from Joe Ledley, Yannick Bolasie, Jerome Thomas and a brace from Glenn Murray sent them in 5-0 up at the break, and despite conceding in the second-half, they south London side went on to score eight more.

Stephen Dobbie scored four of those, with a stunning hat-trick inside five minutes the highlight of the game, while 18-year-old Jake Gray added another and a Marouane Chamakh goal was followed by a Jonathan Williams brace to seal the win.

The Eagles are working on their fitness in Austria, and Pulis has clearly continued to improve the side as they recorded their biggest-ever win against the Austrian minnows.

Dobbie's four goals mean that he scored more in 45 minutes than he had in 17 previous appearances for the club, and the 31-year-old will be hoping to force his way into the manager's plans ahead of the new campaign.

Palace will now head out to the USA for three more friendlies against MLS duo, Columbus Crew and Philadelphia Union before facing the Richmond Kickers, starting in Columbus next Wednesday.

The Eagles enjoyed a remarkable season under the guidance of Pulis last term as they survived relegation with relative ease in the end, and the club will look to continue to improve this year, starting with a tricky opening day fixture against Arsenal at The Emirates.

How high can Crystal Palace finish this season?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch