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April 20 2021 2.58am

Bore draw start for Eagles

August 9 2008

Selhurst Park

Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace opened their Championship campaign with a dour stalemate at home to Watford.

Watford started the better of the two sides as John Eustace hit a shot wide then Tamas Priskin tried his luck by claiming for a penalty.

Victor Moses carved out the best chance in a match befet of many opportunities by skinning Watford's Lee Williamson before firing a low strike that whistled across the face of the goal.

James Scowcroft, now back from injury, nodded a header over the bar after TOM SOARES set him up.

Julian Speroni kept the scores level with an excellent diving save from former Eagles winger Jobi McAnuff who rifled in an angled drive.

Palace debutant Paddy McCarthy had an effort hacked clear by the Watford defence, and as the ball landed as the feet of Moses, he could only screw his 12-yard shot inches past the post. It was the best chance of the game and he should have made it 1-0.

After the break, things got a bit more exciting as a rash challenge on Matt Lawrence by Williamson resulted in a 20-man brawl. Referee Mike Jones gave yellow cards to Williamson and Eagles captain Shaun Derry.

Watford almost got the vital breakthrough as Williamson's lob bounced on the top off the Palace crossbar then Jon Harley had a "goal" disallowed for offside.

Danny Butterfield missed out on a rare goal but his chance to shoot into an empty net scooped out for a throw-in. Both sides will have to improve in attack they are to prosper this season.

Palace: Speroni, Butterfield, Lawrence, McCarthy, Hill,SOARES, Derry, Carle, Scowcroft, Moses (Andrew 86),Scannell (Ifill 55).

Not Used: Fonte, Fletcher, Ertl.

Watford: Poom, Sadler, Doyley, Bromby, DeMerit,McAnuff (Robinson 86), Eustace, Williamson, Harley,Priskin (Francis 90), Smith.

Not Used: Loach, Hoskins, Mariappa.

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