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May 31 2023 1.59am

Eagles blow away Horns

April 19 2008

Paul Ifill

Paul Ifill

Crystal Palace went a step closer to sealing a play-off spot with a 2-0 win at fellow promotion contenders Watford.

Paul Ifill leapt off the bench to put Palace in the driving seat with a stunning second half strike before Victor Moses made sure of the points with a goal shortly after.

In an evenly-fought opening, former Eagles winger Jobi McAnuff should have put Watford into the lead but nodded Tommy Smith's cross wide.

Mark Hudson then had an effort parried by keeper Richard Lee and Clinton Morrison's hooked shot off the rebound was cleared off the line.

Watford then hit the crossbar in the 57th minute after Darius Henderson diverted Lloyd Doyley's cross into the the path of Tamsan Priskin whose header crashed against the underside off the bar.

Winger Ifill, who returned to the squad after a series of back and hamstring injuries, came on for on-loan Scott Sinclair in the 66th minute to freshen up the Eagles attack.

Hornets ace John-Joe O'Toole blasted a shot at Julian Speroni, but Palace drew first blood in the 72nd minute through Ifill.

Ben Watson sent over a corner that was cleared to Jose Fonte on the halfway line and the centre-back knocked the ball back into the dangerzone.

Ifill controlled the ball, got past Leigh Bromby's challenge and then smacked a left-foot half volley which rocketed into the back of net off the post giving Lee no chance.

Just three minutes later, victory was secured after Moses scampered past Doyley on the left and raced into the area where he fired a low shot through Lee's legs.

Speroni ensured he kept a 12th clean sheet of the campaign with a top-drawer save to deny O'Toole as Palace ran out worthy winners.

Watford: Lee, Doyley, Bromby, Shittu, Stewart (Ellington 88), Smith, Eustace, O'Toole, McAnuff (Sadler 73), Henderson, Priskin.

Not Used: DeMerit, Williamson, Kabba.

Palace: Speroni, Lawrence (Butterfield 20), Hudson, Fonte, Hill, Soares, Derry, Watson, Sinclair (Ifill 66), Moses, Morrison (Fletcher 84).

Not Used: Hills, Scannell.

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