Murray blows great chance to end Palace drought

Crystal Palace 0 Millwall 0

Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace are a team in need of a sat nav. They have badly lost their route to goal and it is costing them momentum at a time when they hoped to be exerting pressure on the Championship leaders. On Wednesday they go to Old Trafford for a Carling Cup quarter-final and there seems little likelihood it will provide the solution to their scoring dilemma.

As an intuitive striker, Dougie Freedman was always well acquainted with the space between the posts but he is in charge of a group of players who have not scored in five matches, a barren 485 minutes in League terms. Teams enduring this kind of malaise can never afford to play fast and loose with gift horses and to the horror of their supporters Palace even managed to miss from the penalty spot with 17 minutes remaining.

It was that sort of afternoon; a poor advert for Championship football with creativity as rare as goodwill between these neighbours. Millwall were hardly any more enterprising but at least both teams could say they had stopped the rot of two successive defeats.

For a spark to pierce the gloom we turned to the flanks where Wilfried Zaha for the home side and Liam Feeney for Millwall, particularly in the first half, offered pace and invention and the promise of something significant to come.

Down the years Manchester United have been blessed with a succession of wingers possessing the ability and speed to make use of the green spaces behind their full-back and they will appreciate Zaha's precocious gifts if he is in this same mood of free-flowing ambition.

Only just turned 19, the Palace winger had the means to inflict discomfort on Nathan Baker, one of two loanees from Aston Villa making their debut for a visiting team who have had much the better of this South London squabble in recent years. When he got away from the full-back in a tight skirmish near the byline in the 70th minute it seemed that his legs were then taken from him by Baker's lunge but no penalty was given.

Palace were furious but the award was only delayed three minutes – referee David Webb then ruling that Paul Robinson had held back his fellow captain Paddy McCarthy as they contested a corner. Glenn Murray stepped up with the opportunity to give his team a first win over the enemy since December 2002 but sent his effort well wide.

Freedman later called the famine a "small rut" and is convinced they will come out of it "sooner rather than later". Sooner means Manchester United rather than Derby on Friday – he might well be proved wrong on that count.

Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Speroni; Clyne, McCarthy, Gardner, Moxey; Zaha, Jedinak, Garvan, Scannell; Martin (Ambrose, 73), Murray (Easter, 82).

Millwall (4-4-2): Mildenhall; Smith, Robinson, Lowry, Baker; Feeney, Abdou, Trotter, Barron (Howard, 83); Simpson, Marquis (Henry, 61).

Referee David Webb.

Man of the match Zaha (Crystal Palace).

Match rating 5/10.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas