Margate striker Freddie Ladapo scored a hat-trick as Crystal Palace U21s thrashed their Watford counterparts 5-0.

The 23-year-old was given a chance to impress for the Eagles, and grabbed it with both hands with a fine performance.

It took him just nine minutes to open his account, controlling and turning before firing into the top corner.

Gate’s top scorer had his second – and Palace’s third – two minutes before the break, bundling in a cross from close-range.

And 13 minutes from time he had his treble, his first since netting one for Gate in a 3-0 win at Met Police last March, driving a low shot under the keeper to complete the scoring.

As well as a positive impression on Palace, it was also a touch of personal redemption for Ladapo as the game was played at St Albans, where he missed a penalty in Terry Brown’s last game in charge three months ago.

Palace boss Alan Pardew was not at Clarence Park, but Ladapo’s efforts will surely not have gone unnoticed.

Ladapo, who joined from Kidderminster Harriers last January, is under contract for next season at Hartsdown Park.

He was the subject of much interest in the January transfer window, with Dagenham & Redbridge, Stevenage, Barrow and Grimsby Town all linked with him.


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