Palace’s development side claimed back-to-back wins either side of the New Year as goals from Noor Husin and Andre Coker beat Millwall at Dulwich Hamlet FC.
The Eagles claimed the south London bragging rights with a good display that saw them take their chances and restrict their neighbours to limited opportunities over the 90 minutes which will have pleased Richard Shaw.
The first half was a very quiet affair with little in the way of goalmouth action, although the only two major opportunities went Palace’s way. After 10 minutes, Corie Andrews picked the ball up on the edge of the area, spun and took aim for the far corner but narrowly miscued, and later in the half Andre Coker connected with a Callum Sturgess cross but couldn’t quite get the direction required on his header.
Kleton Perntreou was untroubled for the majority of the first 45 minutes however he had to be alert to prevent Millwall’s Jamie Philpot attempting to lob him from 40 yards but managed to just about prevent the ball from crossing his goalline, and bar a few good breaks by Palace where the final pass was lacking, that was as exciting as a tame first half got.
Before proceedings ended, the visitors were dealt a blow when skipper Christian Mbulu was forced off through injury, and when the second half resumed the Eagles capitalised by taking the lead with just three minutes played. Ryan King-Elliott ghosted into the area and beat two players before pulling the ball back where Husin was able to side-foot the ball into the bottom corner.
That gave the Lions a wake-up call and soon after Noah Chesmain tried his luck from 25 yards out but the left-back’s low drive was comfortably stopped by Perntreou, but just before the hour mark the hosts doubled their advantage in fine style.
A loose ball was pounced on by Coker who sped goalwards, and a neat touch allowed him to beat a defender, cut inside and go one-on-one with Tom King, and he showed great composure to dink the ball over the committed goalkeeper and find the net.
Looking to put the game to bed, Coker slipped in Andrews who shot straight at King, and with 10 minutes remaining Randell Williams stung the palms of the former Palace junior with a fizzing attempt from the edge of the box before Giovanni McGregor went close with a blast from well outside the area late on as the Eagles cruised to victory.
Palace: Perntreou, King-Elliott, Phillips, Tavares, Sturgess, McGregor, Husin (Lokilo 90), Wan-Bissaka, Andrews, Williams, Coker. Subs not used: Granger, Ossai, Akiotu, Fundi.
Millwall: King, McNamara (Ebuzoeme 79), Brown, Mbulu (Green 37), Chesmain, Donovan, Abdou, Butcher, Philpot (White 63), Smith, Pavey. Subs not used: Sandford, Mundle-Smith.