Hat-trick for Jamie as cubs off to a flier
Crystal Palace U18s 1 Millwall U18s 4
Jamie Philpot bagged a hat-trick as Millwall's U18s kicked off the new campaign in perfect style with an emphatic victory at Crystal Palace.
Philpot set the ball rolling with the opener on 25 minutes and added two more goals in the space of five second-half minutes to put The Lions 3-0 ahead with 65 minutes on the clock.
Although Palace reduced the arrears, their hopes of a fightback were soon quashed as Ben Thompson restored Millwall's three-goal cushion with a finely executed free-kick.
The Lions started well and were unlucky not to break the deadlock in the opening minutes when Fred Onyedinma was played in by Callum Webb, only for the home keeper to make a sprawling save and avert the danger.
Midfielder Kris Twardek was denied when his fierce goal-bound strike was blocked on the Palace goal-line and then Thompson was unfortunate to see his effort also blocked as Millwall kept the pressure on.
However The Lions finally got the goal that their early play deserved courtesy of Philpot's opener midway through the half, and could so easily have doubled their tally 60 seconds later when Onyedinma fired inches over the bar.
Philpott headed just off target from a free-kick and a searching Kyron Farrell free-kick into the Palace area needed the merest of touches for a second goal as Millwall continued to ask all the questions.
A powerful run and cross by the clever Onyedinma found Philpot early in the second-half, but his effort crashed against the woodwork as The Lions held the upper hand.
That relentless pressure finally told on the hour-mark when Philpot fired home his - and Millwall's - second before completing his hat-trick five minutes later with a super half-volley.
Although Palace clawed a goal back, any hopes they had of salvaging something from the game soon disappeared as Thompson fired home a sublime 70th-minute free-kick from 20-yards to put The Lions 4-1 ahead.
In fact with a little more luck it could have been five for Millwall when, with four minutes remaining, Philpot was clean through on goal but steered the ball wide of the keeper and the upright.
Team: Tom Beadle, Callum Webb, Kyron Farrell, Ben Thompson, Sid Nelson, Keaton Wood, JP Rylan, Zak Bryon, Jamie Philpott, Fred Onyedinma, Kris Twardek. Subs not used: Chris Parr, Max Goodman, Peter Dexter, Ritchie Danquae, Nico Thongvivat.