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October 21 2020 2.01pm

Palace 2 - 2 Sheffield United

Sat Apr 5 2003 - League

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.

Match Stats

Ground: Selhurst Park (Attendance: 15377)

Palace: Kolinko, Butterfield, Symons, Popovic, Borrowdale, Mullins, Derry, Gray, Hunt (Freedman, 62), Adebola (Black, 84), Whelan (Thomson, 62)

Subs not used: Berthelin, Watson

Bookings: Derry, Mullins, Whelan

Goals: Adebola 15, Whelan 28

Sheffield United: Kenny, Jagielka (Cas, 45), Murphy, Page, Kozluk, Montgomery (Rankine, 68), McCall, Tonge, Ndlovu, Allison (Asaba, 68), Kabba

Subs not used: Peschisolido, Windass

Booking: Page

Goals: Popovic 21 (og), Kabba 87

Referee: S W Dunn (Bristol)

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.

Post match comments:

Trevor Francis said: "I think when you play Sheffield United the game is never finished. They make good use of their subs and they go right to the end.

"We found it tough in the second half to defend set-pieces without Adebola's height, but they kept up the pressure and they got the equaliser.

"I was disappointed that we didn't convert the chances we had in the second half to go on and win the game. We had the opportunities to get the third goal when we were 2-1 up but we didnít take them.

I was disappointed that we didn't convert the chances we had in the second half to go on and win the game
Trevor Francis

"Julian Gray had a chance, Steve Thomson had a chance and Dougie Freedman had the best chance of the lot. Having said that, I thought Dougie was excellent for us today."

Youngster David Hunt make his first-team debut and Francis was happy with his performance.

Francis said: "He has done well for the reserves this season and fully merited the opportunity.

"As we're limited in terms of injuries it gave him his chance and I felt he did well. It was a real baptism of fire for him today but Iím sure he will look back on his debut and be pleased. Iím sure he enjoyed it."

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