Crystal Palace 1 Millwall 2
Millwall showed the big spenders yesterday that money is not everything when they beat Crystal Palace to climb to second in the table.
A fast and furious derby saw Millwall extend their unbeaten away run to seven matches, but Palace failed to gel together as they had done the previous Sunday, when they won well at Port Vale.
Instead the management may well have been ruing the day they let their midfielder, Bobby Bowry, go. Millwall snapped him up pre-season for pounds 250,000 and after only two minutes he danced through Palace's defence and chipped to Chris Malkin, whose header went over Nigel Martyn.
From that moment Bowry rejuvenated Millwall's midfield and it was his thirst for possession that formed the rock of Millwall's offensive game.
Palace did not sit back, however. After 31 minutes Andy Roberts began a move which was picked up by David Hopkin, and Dean Gordon hammered in the equaliser.
However, no sooner had the Palace fans found their seats than Uwe Fuchs - signed by Millwall from Kaiserslautern in the summer - was the fortunate scorer in a melee which allowed him to shoulder the ball past Martyn.
Palace fought and worried their opponents, but they were a fraction too slow to pick up on chances that could have earned them at least a deserved draw.
In the second half frustration began to rule the day as Palace missed their chances and Millwall tightened their defence. The appearance of Kerry Dixon as a second-half substitute put renewed life into Millwall's attack, though, as the game continued at a hectic pace.
This caught up with the players and after 81 minutes Gareth Taylor appeared to elbow Bowry and after a scrum which left only the goalkeepers out of the action, Taylor was shown the only yellow card of the match.
"We didn't even look like getting on the end of anything ", Ray Lewington, the Palace firstteam coach, said. "They had the desire to score and we didn't."
This seemed a harsh appraisal and many will agree with the words of Lewington's coaching colleague, Peter Nicholas, who explained in the match programme that, due to the new team structure, "a settling-in period is going to be a fact of life".
Crystal Palace (5-2-1-2): Martyn; Edworthy (Dyer, 70), Shaw, Roberts, Coleman, Gordon; Houghton, Rodger (Matthew, 60); Hopkin; Freedman, Taylor. Substitute not used: Vincent.
Millwall (4-4-2): Keller; Newman, Witter, Stevens, Van Blerk; Savage, Rae, Bowry, Doyle; Fuchs (Black, 53), Malkin (Dixon, h-t). Substitute not used: Rogan.
Referee: D Orr (Iver).Reuse content