Crystal Palace 1 Gillingham 0
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Iain Dowie's side have been in splendid form of late and continued to push for a place among the top six in Division One, despite the dismissal of Mark Hudson in the second half.
The margin of the win could have been higher but for the form of Gills keeper Lars Hirschfeld.
The custodian - currently on loan from Tottenham - was in sublime form to make sure the score remained deadlocked at half time.
He denied Andrew Johnson, Neil Shipperley and Julian Gray in the opening 45 minutes that the hosts dominated.
However the visitors were gifted the chance to open the scoring when Hudson was adjudged to have committed a profession foul on Mamaday Sadibe inside the box and was given his marching orders.
Nicky Southall stepped up to take the kick only to see Teddy Berthelin push it onto the crossbar. But he was given a second chance from the spot when the referee ordered the penalty to be re-taken.
But Southall again missed as his effort rattled the bar again. Palace soon took advantage as they took the lead on 53 minutes.
Danny Butterfield smashed the ball home to make it 1-0 after the visitors had failed to clear the ball.
Gillingham have not found the back of the net in their last three outings and their scoreless streak was extended as they failed to create any clear-cut openings despite their numerical advantage.