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 Saturday, 7 December, 2002, 17:40 GMT
Crystal Palace 1-0 Millwall

Danny Granville helped Crystal Palace manager Trevor Francis celebrate one year in charge at Selhurst Park with a superb free-kick as Palace beat south London rivals Millwall.

Their opponents had won four of the last five meetings between the sides, but slumped to their second defeat in seven matches with a below-par display.

And it took heroics from Millwall goalkeeper Tony Warner to keep the score respectable as he saved a penalty and pulled off a string of other saves.

Referee Phil Dowd was lenient in booking just six players during a niggly encounter, but Palace ran out deserved winners after enjoying the lion's share of the play in front of a 19,301 crowd.

Tempers flared

Tommy Black had the first chance of the game when he shot on the turn but Warner was equal to the task.

Tempers then flared with four bookings in seven minutes, and Black was lucky to escape punishment for a late foul on Stuart Nethercott which left Millwall's captain needing treatment on the pitch.

Steven Reid had a great chance to open the scoring for Millwall when he broke through in the 37th minute but Butterfield recovered in time to block his shot.

The Eagles then should have threatened at the other end but Hayden Mullins headed harmlessly over the bar.

Palace winner

Lions manager Mark McGhee was the first to blink after the break, throwing on striker Neil Harris for Ben May, who was walking a tightrope after his first-half booking.

But it was the home side who threatened, with Warner saving smartly from Riihilahti before Dele Adebola miscued from close range following a slip by defender Matt Lawrence.

The Lions remained a threat, with Paul Ifill testing keeper Alex Kolinko, but it was Palace who finally broke the deadlock.

Substitute Wayne Routledge was fouled and from the resulting free-kick Granville sent a viciously dipping shot from 20 yards into the top corner to send the home fans wild.

Black forced Warner into another diving save, and the Lions keeper foiled him again from the penalty spot after 83 minutes.

Mark Phillips brought down the onrushing Adebola, but Black failed to make it three in two games when Warner guessed right to save his weak effort.

Warner then saved from Adebola and Routledge, but it was still to be Palace's day.


Crystal Palace: Kolinko, Powell, Popovic, Symons, Granville, Butterfield, Mullins, Riihilahti, Gray, Black, Adebola. Subs: Derry, Routledge, Williams, Michopoulos, Borrowdale.

Millwall: Warner, Lawrence, Nethercott, Phillips, Ryan, Ifill, Wise, Livermore, Reid, Claridge, May. Subs: Harris, Gueret, Roberts, Bull, Johnson.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire)


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