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12:46 3th January 2011

Millwall 3 Crystal Palace 0

The new year kicked off with the south London derby at the Den as Palace welcomed back Darren Ambrose, Alex Marrow and Owen Garvan whilst Millwall suffered the loss of Steve Morison with flu.

The home contingent in the sell out crowd were soon celebrating as Jason Puncheon broke the deadlock on eight minutes. Josh McQuoid headed on a long throw and it fell into the path of Puncheon who fires the ball into the bottom corner of the net past Julian Speroni.

Just before the quarter hour mark McQuoid was involved again as he broke clear but an excellent saving tackle by Paddy McCarthy cut out any danger.

On the 27th minute a Darren Ambrose free kick was saved at the second attempt by David Forde as he only parried the original shot but as Pablo Counago made his way onto the loose ball the keeper cleared again.

Five minutes later a Millwall corner was cleared to just inside the box on the right hand side but Speroni was down to save a shot from Liam Trotter.

The advantage was nearly increased as a corner came over and a shot from close range was cleared off the line by Adam Barrett as the home following thought the ball had crossed the line but the referee ruled otherwise.

Millwall soon broke again when Danny Schofield beat his man and showed his pace to get forward and find Scott Barron in space but he will have been disappointed with his finish as he fired the shot over the bar.

The first period saw two Palace bookings including McCarthy's 5th of the season but he escaped suspension as it was received after New Years Eve.

The visitors had the first chance at the start of the second half as Sean Scannell puts the ball across the face of goal but there was no one coming in at the far post to covert the loose ball.

A change made just before the hour mark as Alex Marrow had to leave the field with an injury and was replaced by Wilfried Zaha.

Neil Danns

McGoid picks up a loose ball and breaks clear and sees his shot saved by Speroni and then Barrett made a goal saving clearance as Trotter came in to make the most of the chance.

The second goal did come though soon after as Puncheon got the better of his man and simply slotted the ball passed Speroni from eighteen yards out.

The hat-trick was soon to come as the 24 year old fired the ball into the corner of the net going past the diving Speroni as disappoinment continued for the Palace fans behind that goal.

Danns had a late chance for a consolation as the 'keeper saved an injury time effort but the midfielder headed over the rebound.

A bitterly disappointing way to start 2011 but well beaten at the Den with an important match against Preston North End just two days later.

    Data provided by Press Association