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January 28 2021 3.09pm

Palace stung by weakened Hornets

April 8 2003

David Hunt

David Hunt

An unfortunate own goal from Eagles youngster David Hunt proved the difference between Palace and Watford.

Watford made eight changes ahead of their FA Cup semi-final tie against Southampton at the weekend and Palace failed to break down the understrengthed side.

The opening half hour was pretty dour apart from a Danny Butterfield shot from 30 yards which clipped the woodwork.

Ben Watson, making his Eagles debut, and Kit Symons had to be alert to clear Lee Cook's dangerous crosses.

Dougie Freedman and Watford's Michael Chopra went close with chances and 11 minutes before half-time, Gifton Noel-Williams fired over the bar.

Moments later, reserve keeper Richard Lee made a stop to deny Dele Adebola from close range.

Then a minute before the break, Cook's inswinging corner from the right hand side bounced off the Hunt's head and past his own keeper into the back of the net.

In the second half, Butterfield struck a shot wide from 20 yards in the 70th minute before Cook saw his 30-yard free kick fly over Alex Kolinko's crossbar.

Starting line-ups:

Palace: Kolinko, Butterfield, Symons, Popovic, Mullins, Freedman, Derry, Gray, Hunt, Adebola, Watson.

Subs: Berthelin, Thomson, Black, Routledge, Whelan.

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