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January 24 2021 7.31pm

Kabba denies Eagles victory

April 5 2003

Noel Whelan

Noel Whelan

Goals from Dele Adebola and Noel Whelan proved not enough against Sheffield United as Palace twice allowed them to come back into the game to level at 2-2.

As predicted Steve Kabba got on the scoresheet for the Blades with the equaliser in the 86th minute.

They scored winning goals in the 86th and 88th minute against Palace in the Worthington Cup game and an 89th minute winner in the league game earlier this season.

Whether it was Simon Jordan's choice words in the press this week or maybe the Palace players wanted revenge for the two cruel defeats at the hands of United this season - Palace played well and were worthy of the three points.

In the opening stages, Blades goalkeeper Paddy Kenny turned Noel Whelan's shot around the post. And in the 15th minute Palace went in front.

Dele Adebola cut in from the right and struck a powerful shot which beat Kenny and went into the bottom right corner.

Seven minutes later, the Blades levelled. Wayne Allison pulled the ball back from the byline on the right hand side and Tony Popovic's out-stretched leg went past Alex Kolinko and into the net.

Whelan scored his second Eagles goal when he held off a challenge and netted from just inside the box on the right in the 28th minute.

Dougie Freedman came on and was involved with a few one-on-ones on the counter-attack as the Blades pushed forward for an equaliser.

He should have put away his first effort which was too weak and saved by the keeper, his cross for fellow sub Steven Thomson was put over the bar and Julian Gray had a weak right foot shot saved from close range.

Then in the remaining three minutes Kabba pounced with the equalising goal with a half volley from short range. He milked the goal celebration by running to the opposite end of the pitch to celebrate to the United fans.

Palace: Kolinko, Butterfield, Symons, Popovic, Mullins, Derry, Gray, Hunt, Adebola, Whelan, Borrowdale.

Subs: Berthelin, Freedman, Thomson, Black, Watson.

Sheffield United: Kenny, Kozluk, Murphy, Page, McCall, Montgomery, Allison, Ndlovu, Jagielka, Tonge, Kabba.

Subs: Asaba, Peschisolido, Rankine, Windass, Cas.

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