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May 31 2023 12.47am

Lawrence grabs vital equaliser

March 22 2008

Matt Lawrence

Matt Lawrence

Matt Lawrence rescued a point for Crystal Palace with a last-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

The defender rifled Ben Watson's corner into the roof of the net from close range in the dying seconds to keep Palace's play-off hopes on course.

Watson with his fourth goal of the season had earlier cancelled out Ben Sahar's opener with a brilliant 25-yard free-kick before Wade Small put Wednesday back in front.

In the first five minutes, Clinton Morrison went close to giving Palace the perfect start but his 12-yard shot smacked against the crossbar.

Five minutes later, the Eagles were grateful to their own woodwork which kept out Sean McAllister's long-range drive.

After Watson hit a shot off target, Wednesday took the lead in the 18th minute when striker Sahar fired home with a left foot effort past Julian Speroni.

Palace were denied an instant equaliser as keeper Lee Grant made a one-handed save to keep out Clint Hill's header from Watson's flag kick.

Wednesday midfielder Graham Kavanagh tried his luck from 20 yards before the Londoners were on level terms in the 40th minute.

Palace won a free-kick after Richard Wood had fouled James Scowcroft 25 yards from goal and Watson blasted the dead ball into top left-corner past the despairing arms of Grant.

At the start of the second half, Speroni reacted well to tip Small's 25-yard strike around the post, and shortly after Small sliced a shot wide of the goal.

But he made ammends for that miss by firing Wednesday in front in the 68th minute, by hammering the ball into the back of the net from six yards.

On-loan Chelsea youngster Sahar should have made the points safe for Wednesday but he spurned two good opportunities.

And the Yorkshireman were made to pay for those missed chances when Lawrence delivered a fatal blow in the last minute for his first goal for the club.

Sheff Wed: Grant, Hinds, Beevers, Wood, Spurr, Kavanagh, McAllister, Small (Showunmi 87), Songo'o, Sahar, Burton.

Not Used: Burch, Watson, Bolder, O'Brien.

Palace: Speroni, Lawrence, Hill, Hudson, Fonte, Derry (Robinson 77), Soares (Danns 59), Watson, Scannell (Hughes 85), Morrison, Scowcroft.

Not Used: Fletcher, Kudjodji.

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