Sat Sep 21 2002 - League
Crystal Palace were held to 3-3 draw in a thriller at Watford in a game which had everything - goals, defensive errors, a missed penalty and a sending off.
Watford were awarded a penalty in the 14th minute but Danny Webber’s spotkick rattled the crossbar.
Ground: Vicarage Road (Attendance: 12153)
Watford: Chamberlain, Doyley, Dyche, Cox, Robinson, Ardley, Hyde, Hand (McNamee 74), Nielsen, Helguson (Gayle 84), Webber.
Subs not used: Glass, Foley, Lee.
Bookings: Cox, Robinson.
Goals: Ardley 28, Hyde 40, Helguson 47.
Palace: Kolinko, Fleming (Gray 69), Popovic, Powell, Granville, Routledge, Mullins, Thomson, Butterfield, Johnson (Adebola 81), Freedman (Austin 79).
Subs not used: Black, Cronin.
Bookings: Mullins, Routledge. Sent Off: Routledge 74.
Goals: Mullins 24, Granville 41, Mullins 45.
Referee: A R Hall.
Ten minutes later, Hayden Mullins put Palace in front, but the lead lasted five minutes as Neil Ardley fired home a free-kick.
With six minutes to go in the first half, three goals were scored. First Micah Hyde gave Watford the lead only for Danny Granville and Mullins to put the Eagles 3-2 ahead.
A minute into the second period, Heidar Helguson levelled for the Hornets to round off a shocking display of defending by both sides.
Palace searched for a winner but had to make do with a point following Wayne Routledge’s red card with 15 minutes left.
He was booked in the first half for a petulant challenge and then given a second yellow for shirt pulling by the corner flag in the 76th minute.
Man of the Match: Mullins' two goals and improved performance edged out another top Routledge display
Chant of the Match: Watford get run from Luton.
Post match comments:
Francis said: "I asked the referee for an explanation and he said the reason for the red card was a shirt pull by Wayne.
"He must have been three yards from the touchline and I ask the question was it necessary to send a guy off there.
"He wasn't gaining an advantage. I accept it but I don't agree with it. I could see us winning the game because at that point we had a firm grip on it.
"But the sending off changed the game plan and forced me into making substitutions.
Wayne must have been three yards from the touchline and I ask the question was it necessary to send a guy off there.
"But it’s a point away from home and I’d have been disappointed not to have got anything.
"It's disappointing because this season one of our strong points has been the quality of our defending but today we defended poorly.
"Up until the sending off I believed that we could have won the game as we controlled it for long periods.
"Even after they made it level in the second half we could have snatched it, Andy Johnson hit the bar and that would have been a goal that he richly deserved following his performance.
"It's disappointing because when you score three goals away from home you should go away with all the points.
"I am always pleased when goals come from all around the team and to see Hayden score two was great.
"They are the first goals he has scored since I took over and they will be a tremendous confidence booster for him.
"I was pleased to be able to give Julian Gray 20 minutes, he has worked hard to get back to fitness and with some more training will be in contention for the match at Sheffield Wednesday in midweek."
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