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19:02 16th October 2010

Crystal Palace 0-1 Millwall

A rousing minute's applause in memory of former Crystal Palace manager Malcolm Allison, who died on Friday aged 83, marked a poignant start to precedings at Selhurst Park; the thoughts of Championship football temporarily substituted for reminiscence as 19,000 supporters remembered one of the most colourful characters in the club's history. The blow of the referee's whistle brought attentions back to the game with a fierce cry of support from all corners of the ground. There was also room for some joint laughter as a Nathaniel Clyne was close to being floored by Kayla the Eagle as she flew to her handler's arm. Palace lined up for the game with two fresh changes from the previous home game, with Claude Davis and Kieron Cadogan in for Edgar Davids and Kieran Djilali, who both dropped to the bench. That meant that Alex Marrow swapped the centre of defence for the centre of midfield, with Andy Dorman taking up position wide on the left. There was also a surprise starting place for Pablo Counago who in midweek looked likely to miss the game with a hamstring injury, but it was his strike partner that impressed most in the opening stages. Wilfried Zaha gave former Palace full back, Tony Craig, a torrid time throughout the first half, combining skill with speed to get at him at every opportunity and set up a series of dangerous opportunities for Palace. The Eagles started the game brightly and almost got off to the perfect start when Owen Garvan's effort from the edge of the box deflected just wide of David Forde's right hand post. At the other end Steve Morison tried his luck with a snap shot from the edge of the box that never looked like troubling Speroni, and then should have done much better when he received the ball at the back post but only found the Palace keeper's arms with a low effort. But Palace were the more dominant team in the first period, and when Counago and Zaha linked up well on the edge of the box the young striker smashed over the bar from 20 yards. Zaha then turned architect when a lovely combination of skill and speed took him away from two defenders on the right channel, and his low cross was bundled over the byline by the defender as Counago looked to connect. The visitors though had an equally good chance moments later when the ball dropped to Chris Hackett on the penalty spot, but he had to improvise and toe-poked the ball wide. Counago and Zaha then linked up again, and this time the youngster was ever so close to breaking the deadlock for the Eagles when he held off his marker before unleashing a fierce left footed effort just wide of Forde's right hand post. Darren Carter then should have done better when he burst through the Palace defence only to scuff his shot harmlessly into Speroni's arms, while Paddy McCarthy will be wondering how he missed his chance when the ball dropped to him in the six yards box. Robinson's flashing drive across the Palace goal marked the final effort of the first half, but it was his strike eight minutes in to the second that handed the visitors the advantage. The striker, on loan from Huddersfield, sprung Palace's offside trap and as Speroni came out close down the angle, he knocked it past him and then finished from a tight angle. It should have been two for Millwall when Morison again managed to get round the back of Palace's defence from a deep cross, but faced with an open goal he smashed it straight at Speroni, who parried it away. From the resulting corner Paul Robinson sent a free header wide, and then Scott Barron tested Speroni's hands with a curling left footed effort from 25 yards as Millwall continued to dominate the second half. As the game approached its final ten minutes, Burley brought on Jon Obika for Andy Dorman to add more attacking threat as Palace changed to three upfront, while Millwall responded by swapping goalscorer Robinson with Neil Harris. The veteran striker almost had an immediate impact when he tried his luck from 25 yards with a curling effort, but it didn't dip quick enough and flew inches wide of Speroni's left post. For Palace, Djilali and Zaha combined brilliantly to feed Counago through, but the Spaniard tried to smash it into the roof of the net at the near post only to find the side netting instead. As the game entered its final few minutes, Palace pushed forward in numbers in search of an equaliser and when they forced a corner on the left hand side Davis was unlucky to see his header cleared off the line. Moments later another cross from the left caused Millwall problems, but when it found Julian Bennett at the back post few could describe exactly what he attempted to do with a bizarre acrobatic effort. The game ended in late drama when Claude Davis was shown a straight red card for an altercation with Chris Hackett. Attendance: 19,131 (Away: 4,895) Stay with for the full post match reaction from George Burley. George Burley made two changes from the starting XI that faced QPR, with Claude Davis and Kieron Cadogan replacing Edgar Davids and Kieran Djilali, who both dropped to the bench. Crystal Palace: 1. Julian Speroni; 2. Nathaniel Clyne;4. Claude Davis; 5. Paddy McCarthy; 10. Owen Garvan; 11. Andy Dorman (29. Jonathan Obika, 78); 15. Kieron Cadogan (21. Kieran Djilali, 65); 16. Wilfried Zaha; 19. Julian Bennett; 30. Alex Marrow; 32. Pablo Counago Subs: 12. Calvin Andrew;13. Lewis Price; 20. Edgar Davids; 25. Alassane N'Diaye; 31. Anthony Gardner Millwall: 1. David Forde; 4. Darren Carter (7. Danny Schofield, 88); 5. Paul Robinson; 12. Chris Hackett; 15. Tony Craig; 16. Scott Barron; 17. Tamika Mkandawire; 18. Darren Ward; 20. Steve Morison; 25. Theo Robinson (9. Neil Harris, 78); 26. Nadjim Abdou Subs: 3. Andy Frampton; 14. James Henry; 22. Kevin Lisbie; 23. Steve Mildenhall; 32. John Marquis
    Data provided by Press Association