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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 26 Nov 11 at 19:33 PM

Crystal Palace 0 Millwall 0

Glenn Murray blasted a 73rd-minute penalty wide as battling Millwall held on for a share of the spoils in a lacklustre Selhurst Park derby.
Murray, who had earlier been denied a sensational opener when his overhead kick was brilliantly saved by Lions stopper Steve Mildenhall, was handed a gilt-edged opportunity to set The Eagles on their way to victory.
With just 17 minutes remaining Paddy McCarthy went down rather easily under a challenge from Millwall skipper Paul Robinson and referee David Webb pointed straight to the spot.
Up stepped former Brighton striker Murray, but he opted for power rather than precision and blazed the ball yards wide of the post.
Although Palace created the clearer chances, a draw was a fair result as Kenny Jackett's Lions dug in to take a valuable point.
"I was pleased with the performance," said Kenny, "We made a lot of changes including three to the back four and also the goalkeeper.
Palace have a good home record so I'm pleased with the clean sheet."
Jackett rang the changes, making five from the team that started against Bristol City six days ago.
Mildenhall came in for only his second league start for The Lions in place of the injured David Forde, whilst Aston Villa loanees Shane Lowry and Nathan Baker replaced Darren Ward and Jack Smith at centre half and left-back respectively. Smith switched across to take care of the right-back berth at the expense of Alan Dunne, who dropped out of the squad altogether.
Scott Barron took over from Brian Howard to form a new-look left side to the team with full-back Baker, whilst John Marquis inclusion up front for the injured Darius Henderson was the biggest surprise of all; the young striker having only recently returned to full training following a double hernia operation.
Henderson was sidelined having sustained a foot injury in training and remains doubtful for Tuesday's home game with Doncaster Rovers.
Boss Jackett had demanded an improvement from his team, and although The Lions perhaps struggled to create much in the final third to test Julian Speroni in the home goal as he would have liked, there were certainly positives to take out of this game.
The first chance of the afternoon went the way of the home side as left-back Dean Moxey intercepted Liam Trotter's attempt to chest the ball onto Smith, and raced away down the left before whipping over a dangerous low cross just beyond the lunge of Murray.
Six minutes later Sean Scannell was fouled just inches outside the penalty area, with Owen Garvan's subsequent free-kick flashing across the face of goal again.
Jay Simpson then saw his looping header comfortably held by Eagles stopper Speroni, and soon after the loanee striker stung the keeper's palms with a fierce drive after capitalising on a slip by McCarthy.
Liam Feeney produced a trio of penetrating runs down the right flank in six minutes, each time leaving Moxey trailing in his wake, but unfortunately all three of his final deliveries were just beyond the reach of any team-mate.
At the other end Smith did well to clear Wilfried Zaha's deep cross for a corner, and when the ball was played back in from the resulting set play, keeper Mildenhall reacted superbly to push Murray's overhead kick away at full stretch.
Millwall were handed a decent opportunity as McCarthy again gave the ball away, but Marquis' run at goal was blocked by Anthony Gardner.
Palace winger Scannell flashed two efforts wide before the Lions registered the final chance of the opening period as Barron headed Marquis' pinpoint centre into Speroni's hands.
Mildenhall did well to deny Zaha from close range at the start of the second-half and The Lions were handed a reprieve 20 minutes from time when Zaha twice fell to the ground in the area after tangling with Baker, with referee Webb waving away the Eagles' frantic penalty appeals.
However the official did point to the spot just two minutes later as McCarthy went to ground under pressure from Robinson, only for Murray to fire his penalty wide of Mildenhall's left-hand post.
Millwall created a decent chance themselves in injury time when sub James Henry made a great challenge to win possession, slipped the ball to Trotter who in turn sent Feeney away clear on goal.
Unfortunately the diminutive winger hit a fierce drive over the bar with The Lions last real opportunity of the game.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy, Gardner, Garvan, Scannell, Jedinak, Zaha, Murray (Easter, 81mins), Moxey, Martin (Ambrose, 71mins). Subs not used: Price, Wright, Parr, Ambrose.
Bookings: Garvan (62mins), Jedinak (90+3mins),

Millwall: Mildenhall, Smith, Baker, Abdou, Robinson, Lowry, Barron (Howard, 82mins), Trotter, Marquis (Henry, 60mins), Simpson, Feeney. Subs not used: Allsop, Ward, McQuoid.
Bookings: Baker (47mins), Trotter (51mins), Robinson (71mins)

Ref: D. Webb
Att: 15,150 (away, 2,601)

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