Report: Crystal Palace 2-2 Millwall

MARK Beevers scored a second-half equaliser to earn Millwall a deserved point in a breathtaking South London derby at Selhurst Park.

The Sheffield Wednesday loanee bundled in Josh Wright's corner in the 77th minute to deny the ten-man Eagles their seventh win in eight matches.

Palace had raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of goals from Mile Jedinak and Damien Delaney, but with half-time approaching, Dean Moxey was sent-off for a deliberate handball and Liam Trotter converted the resulting penalty.

Manager Kenny Jackett was dealt a double injury blow ahead of kick-off with the news that neither James Henry (hamstring) nor Andy Keogh (concussion) were fit enough to play.

Chris Taylor was drafted in on the right side of midfield to replace Henry, while Keogh, who had been a substitute in the previous two matches, was replaced in the squad by Dany N'Guessan.

But Millwall were able to call upon the services of Liam Feeney and Karleigh Osborne again after injury and Shane Lowry returned from suspension, with the trio named on the bench.

The first chance of the afternoon fell to one-time Lions target Glenn Murray, who hooked Wilfried Zaha's looping cross narrowly over the bar with his back to goal in the second minute.

Palace were on top in the early stages and should have opened the scoring when Zaha squirmed a low cross into the box to pick out Kagisho Dikgacoi, but the midfielder scuffed his shot as he pivoted in the six-yard box.

There was controversy at the other end when striker Darius Henderson appeared to be scythed down by Peter Ramage as he burst through on goal, but Premier League referee Phil Dowd played on – to the disbelief of Jackett on the touchline.

Dowd was evidently keen to assert his authority on proceedings and showed no less than five yellow cards to Lions players in the first period.

Having been forced to defend in numbers in the opening exchanges, Millwall spurned a glorious chance to take the lead when Chris Taylor raced to the byline and stood the ball up for Henderson, whose header dropped the wrong side of the post in the 27th minute.

The Lions had appeals for a penalty waived away by Dowd after Chris Wood appeared to have been bundled over in the box, before Zaha rifled a shot narrowly over the bar as the game became increasingly stretched.

But the Eagles drew first blood when Jedinak took aim from distance and unleashed a swerving shot that flew into the bottom corner in the 35th minute.

The celebrations from the first goal had barely died down when Delaney glanced in Owen Garvan's free-kick to double Palace's advantage moments later.

But the game was turned on its head in the 42nd minute when Henderson's goal-bound header was handled on the line by Moxey, who was shown a straight red card, and Trotter made no mistake from the spot.

The visitors pushed for an equaliser before half-time and nearly grabbed one when Taylor's header from Trotter's cross crashed off the bar with Speroni well-beaten.

Taylor had been Millwall's stand-out player in the first-half and he laid on a chance for Wood early in the second, but the West Brom loanee blazed over from 20 yards.

Eagles frontman Murray was convinced he should have been awarded a penalty when he went down under Danny Shittu's challenge in the 52nd minute, although replays suggested the striker had gone down under minimal contact.

But the Lions began to build up a head of steam and Taylor drilled into the side netting after good work from Henderson before Alan Dunne glanced a header wide from substitute Josh Wright's corner.

And the equaliser finally arrived in the 77th minute when another Wright corner struck the hip of Beevers and bounced into the net beyond the despairing dive of Speroni to send the 2,600 away fans into raptures.

Thereafter, Millwall looked the likelier of the two sides to snatch a winner and a late chance fell to Henderson when Shittu headed Taylor's cross back across goal, but the striker could only nod the ball straight at Speroni.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

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