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July 10 2020 8.58pm

Palace 2-2 Wolves

April 15 2007

Mark Hudson

Mark Hudson

Crystal Palace shared the points with a play-off-chasing Wolves side as the teams shared four goals in an action-packed first half, writes Simon Pophale.

This match was the typical game of two halves as the first was captivating and the second was almost non-descript.

Peter Taylor made little change in the team due to injuries and it was the same 11 that started against Preston. The same team produced a similar start as on 11 minutes we took the lead when from a Ben Watson corner, Mark Hudson rose to head us into the lead.

Wolves took all of 30 seconds to hit back as straight from the kick-off, the ball was fed left to Micheal McIndoe whose cross was headed in by Jay Bothroyd. Wolves then began to dominate possession with McIndoe, Kightly and Bothroyd putting our defence under pressure.

The pressure told as on 22 minutes, Bothroyd took the ball into the box, skipped past Hudson and hit a rising drive from 6 yards that left Gabor Kiraly no chance as Wolves went in front.

In many games this season, under such pressure the team has wilted which explains why our home record is the main reason we are in mid-table. Taylor called for a strong end to the season, which the players delivered for the rest of the half.

The main talking point of the half was on the half hour. A skyward punt towards the Wolves goal saw goalkeeper Jan Budtz misjudge the bounce and Shefki Kuqi, putting the keeper under pressure, managed to nick in front and although he tapped the ball into an empty net, the referee adjudged to have fouled the Dane.

Wolves almost hit back as Kightly ran along the line of the penalty box past 3 defenders but his shot was well saved by Kiraly.

Jobi McAnuff drew a foul from Mark Little, which saw the Wolves defender booked and from the resulting free kick, Carl Fletcher shot wide.

McAnuff brought us level on 36 minutes as Kuqi broke down the right, crossed into the box and McAnuff smashed the ball past Budtz from 8 yards.

We were bossing the game at this point and we were closing the half the stronger of the 2 side. McAnuff was outstanding and on another forward raid, Little cynically checked him which reduced the visitors to 10 men.

After all the first half fireworks, the second half was damp squib with Wolves putting men behind the ball and we could not break them down. From yet another Ben Watson corner, Leon Cort saw his header spilled by Budtz and Morrison, 2 yards out was just tackled by Jackie McNamara and the ball deflected wide.

Wolves were happy for a point and despite Taylor trying to break the 10 man resistance down with a raft of substitutions, only a Mark Kennedy free kick which fizzed inches over the bar on 83 minutes provided any excitement, as the game drew to a close, much like our season.

Palace: Kiraly, Lawrence, Hudson, Cort, Borrowdale, Soares (Ifill 59), Fletcher, Watson, McAnuff (Kennedy 77), Morrison, Kuqi (Scowcroft 72).

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