Palace up in arms

Last updated : 01 September 2003 By Neil Andrews
Crystal Palace players and officials are today expressing their anger over the sending off of midfielder Tommy Black in Saturday's clash against The Lions at the New Den.

In this morning's copy of The Sun, Black - who became the Eagles' fifth sending off of the season - pointed the finger at Dennis Wise, believing it was the Millwall midfielder's influence that convinced referee Howard Webb to send him off. But Black can have no complaints for his dismissal.

The lively midfielder had already been booked for a rash challenge on Paul Ifill in the first half before he foolishly kicked out at debutant Kevin Muscat on the hour mark, forcing the away side to play the last half hour with only ten men.

Despite this handicap, it was the Eagles that opened the scoring, with a freekick from 18-year-old Ben Watson, who then decided to celebrate his goal in front of the home crowd and was lucky not to get booked.

Palace looked like they were going to hold on to an unlikely victory until Mark McGhee threw on 6' 5" striker Bob Peeters. The Lions then took control and bombarded the visitors goal into submission. Peeters, Cahill, Harris and Ward all went close before Peeters rose to meet a Paul Ifill cross deep into injury time to head home the equaliser.

Peeters almost went and won it for the Lions seconds later before Neil Harris saw a thirty-yard thunderbolt spectacularly saved by Berthelin in the Palace goal but the Eagles held on for the draw.

Millwall Mad Ratings:
Tony Warner 7 - Kept Palace at bay for much of the game
Kevin Muscat 8 - What a debut!
Tony Craig 6 - Overawed by the sense of occasion
Tim Cahill 6 - Did not impose himself enough on the game
Stuart Nethercott 7 - Solid at the back
Darren Ward 8 - Goes from strength to strength
Dennis Wise 6 - A bit absent for large patches of the game
Andy Roberts 7 - Another good performance from Bloberts!
Noel Whelan 6 - Game passed him by a bit
Neil Harris 7 - Went close to scoring on more than one occasion
Paul Ifill 7 - Provided the width that was missing from previous games

Charlie Hearn 7 - A real threat down the right
Bob Peeters 7 - Swung the game in Millwall's favour