Crystal Palace 3
Cort 51, Freedman 53, Hudson 61
Southend United 1
Eastwood 42

For the second successive game Crystal Palace scored two goals in two minutes to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season against Southend last night.

After going behind courtesy of a first half Freddy Eastwood strike, goals from Leon Cort and Dougie Freedman put Palace in front before Mark Hudson capped a fine second half performance with a third on 61 minutes.

Goal scorer Cort was one of four Eagles player's making their home debuts, alongside new skipper Carl Fletcher, James Scowcroft and Mark Kennedy. But it was Kennedy who was made the biggest impact with his accurate delivery from set pieces which set-up two goals.

In recent season's Palace have struggled at set pieces but the arrival of the former Wolves man has changed all that, with the Eagles looking threatening every time he lines up a dead ball.

Impressing last year in the march towards promotion, Southend started well and were far from overawed playing at Selhurst Park. Ex-Eagle Lee Bradbury came inches away from giving the Shrimpers a shock first minute opener when he headed wide before Eastwood struck three minutes before the break to give his side a deserved half-time lead.

Taylor changed things at half time, bringing on Freedman for the ineffective Jon Macken and the Scotsman's arrival sparked Palace into life.

Cort rose highest to meet Kennedy's inswinging corner to put Palace level, before Freedman evaded the offside trap and latched on to a Scowcroft flick-on to expertly fire past Southend keeper Darryl Flahavan with the outside of his right foot.

The double blow took it out of the visitors as Palace went in search of more goals. Hudson finally made the game safe just after the hour mark when he headed past Flahavan from another Kennedy corner.

The visit of Leeds United to Selhurst Park this Sunday is sure to give the Eagles a more sterner test but on this form Peter Taylor's men will fancy their chances against anyone.