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Match Reports

Single strike settles South London derby

Our report from The Den..

1 September 2020

Millwall's final pre-season friendly ended in a narrow loss on Tuesday afternoon as Premier League outfit Crystal Palace were 1-0 winners at The Den.

Max Meyer was the match-winner on the half-hour mark as he stroked the ball home from inside the penalty area.

Lions boss Gary Rowett was without the services of Shane Ferguson and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson against The Eagles, with both on international duty, whilst Troy Parrott sat the game out through injury. Jiri Skalak was scheduled to start, but pulled out of the warm-up and was replaced by Hayden Muller.

The game began with the ball being traded around the midfield area, without any shot of note troubling either goalkeeper - that was until the 12th minute, when Jeffrey Schlupp's effort rolled wide of Bartosz Bialkowski's far post. Joel Ward's cross then flashed across the penalty area just 90 seconds later as the visitors looked for the opener.

The Lions, on the other hand, were playing some quick pass and move football, and a move between Jake Cooper, Jed Wallace and Mason Bennett nearly led to a chance with 16 minutes on the clock, but a Palace boot was able to deflect behind.

Crystal Palace wasted a free-kick from close-range with 28 minutes played before trickery from Wilfried Zaha came to nothing as he blasted his shot high, wide and not so handsome, but the frontman returned to have a hand in the opening goal just a minute later as he cross was blocked, leaving Meyer with a simple tap-in to break the deadlock.

A slick move from Palace almost ended up with the second goal of the afternoon being scored on 50 minutes, but Bialkowski was equal to Schlupp's shot from just inside the penalty area. The ball then landed at the feet of Jordan Ayew just before the hour-mark, but after he skipped round Bialkowski, his effort was cleared over the crossbar by Shaun Hutchinson.

A triple substitution then saw Rowett bring Murray Wallace, Ryan Woods and Connor Mahoney into play, but the next chance went the way of The Eagles, as Zaha's attempt across goal went wide.

Scott Malone forced Vincente Guaita into his first save of the afternoon on 67 minutes, before Jed Wallace fizzed an effort wide. A raft of substitutions took place as the final 15 minutes began, with Tyler Burey, Junior Tiensia, James Brown and Ben Thompson all entering the fray alongside six Palace changes, and two of those combined shortly after as Brown crossed for Thompson, but the midfielder's leaping header went wide.

Nya Kirby struck wide as the final five minutes of the game got underway, with The Lions almost grabbing an equaliser just 90 seconds from the end as Tom Bradshaw flicked Smith's shot towards goal, but the ball rolled just wide of the post.

Millwall: Bialkowski, Hutchinson, Cooper (Burey 74'), Williams (Mahoney 63'), J. Wallace (Tiensia 74'), Bradshaw, Malone (Smith 74'), Pearce (R. Woods 63'), Leonard (Brown 74'), Bennett (M. Wallace 63'), Muller (Thompson 74'). Subs not used: Sandford, Wright.

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Dann, Meyer, Kouyate, Ayew, Zaha, Schlupp, McArthur, Mitchell, Riedewald. Subs: Henderson, Jach, Kelly, S. Woods, Kirby, Pierrick, Gordon, Boateng, Inniss.

Scorer: Meyer 30'

Referee: Tim Robinson


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