Kevin Phillips came off the bench to rescue a point for Crystal Palace in an entertaining affair against Watford.

Almen Abdi put Watford into an early lead with a well-hit effort from just outside the area before Nathaniel Chalobah headed in the Hornets' second.

But Palace responded after the break as Peter Ramage prodded home following a scramble in the area.

Substitute Phillips then completed the comeback with a neat finish at the back post for his first Palace goal.

Top scorers

This match pitted the two highest scorers in the division; Palace have now netted 54 goals in 31 outings with Watford scoring 60.

Phillips, who is on loan from Blackpool, began his professional career with Watford in 1994 and returned to Vicarage Road to stop Gianfranco Zola's side moving up to second in the Championship.

A win for either of these sides would have put them into the automatic places and Watford started with the early intent.

They were given some help from poor Palace defending as Jazz Richards scuffed a clearance that Abdi picked up before beating goalkeeper Julian Speroni with a well-hit strike.

Watford were in the ascendancy and doubled their lead when Marco Cassetti's shot into the ground spun to Chalobah who headed in at the back post.

Matej Vydra then headed wide from right in front of goal for the hosts before Palace, who were after their first league win away in 2013, wasted a chance when Glenn Murray had a close-range header saved by Watford keeper Manuel Almunia.

Prolific Phillips

  • Watford (1994-97) - 24 league goals
  • Sunderland (1997-2003) - 116 league goals
  • Southampton (2003-05) - 23 league goals
  • Aston Villa (2005-06) - 4 league goals
  • West Brom (2006-08) - 38 league goals
  • Birmingham (2008-11) - 19 league goals
  • Blackpool (2011-) - 18 league goals
  • Crystal Palace (2013 on loan) - 1 league goal

Ian Holloway's side have come from behind on five occasions this term in the Championship to win and Kagisho Dikgacoi went close with a effort from outside of the area after the break before Murray let another chance slip away after poor control in front of goal from Wilfried Zaha's cross.

However, the Eagles got back into it through Ramage with 24 minutes remaining as the defender prodded the ball home after a scramble in the area with Almunia failing to get his hands on the ball.

Then the leveller came four minutes later from January signing Phillips, who easily side-footed home Richards' low cross at the far post to score 243rd league goal which have now come at eight different clubs.

The draw means Leicester stay in the second spot with Watford moving to third and Palace staying fifth.

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola:

"After the first half we were not expecting anything like that. They played really well and caused us a lot of problems and we did not have the same freshness in our legs. And Phillips certainly made a difference.

"But there are 15 games to go and I don't want to be second now, I want to be second at the end of the season. It's going to be a race to the end."

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway:

"What a class act Kevin [Phillips] is, let's be honest. I don't know anyone as professional as Kevin and that was a hard chance to put away. He's 39 going on 18, and I'm delighted for him.

"First half, I thought we were too worried about stopping them. I want to attack, so I thoroughly enjoyed the second half. We got what we deserved and maybe by the end we could have nicked something else.

"We've got 15 games left - let's have a right good go at getting promotion. What we need from now on are some second half performances in the first half."

Lineup, Bookings (7) & Substitutions (5)

Watford

  • 01 Almunia
  • 06 Hall Booked
  • 12 Doyley
  • 18 Pudil Booked
  • 27 Cassetti Booked
  • 31 Hoban
  • 39 Chalobah Booked (Battocchio - 89' )
  • 08 Hogg
  • 22 Abdi
  • 09 Deeney Booked
  • 20 Vydra (Forestieri - 65' )

Substitutes

  • 30 Bond
  • 04 Eustace
  • 07 Yeates
  • 16 Murray
  • 38 Battocchio
  • 36 Geijo
  • 41 Forestieri

Crystal Palace

  • 01 Speroni
  • 21 Moxey
  • 27 Delaney
  • 28 Ramage
  • 03 Richards
  • 07 Bolasie (K Phillips - 54' )
  • 08 Dikgacoi
  • 12 Marrow Booked (Williams - 46' )
  • 11 Dobbie (Butterfield - 85' )
  • 16 Zaha
  • 17 Murray Booked

Substitutes

  • 34 Price
  • 04 Parr
  • 06 Butterfield
  • 20 Williams
  • 22 O'Keefe
  • 09 K Phillips
  • 18 Wilbraham
Ref: Naylor
Att: 15,079

Match Stats

Shots

12 17

On target

7 11

Corners

4 10

Fouls

15 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:12 Full time

Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.

90:00 +3:42

Kevin Phillips is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.

90:00 +3:11

Ashley Richards delivers the ball.

90:00 +0:51

The ball is delivered by Marco Cassetti, clearance by Damien Delaney. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Damien Delaney by Marco Cassetti. Julian Speroni restarts play with the free kick.

89:43

A cross is delivered by Jacob Butterfield, Peter Ramage takes a shot. Manuel Almunia makes a save.

89:43 Booking

Booking The referee books Daniel Pudil for unsporting behaviour.

89:38

Wilfried Zaha fouled by Daniel Pudil, the ref awards a free kick.

88:50 Substitution

Substitution Nathaniel Chalobah goes off and Cristian Battocchio comes on.

88:26

Corner taken by Jacob Butterfield, clearance by Nathaniel Chalobah.

88:08

The ball is crossed by Jonathan Williams, Fitz Hall makes a clearance.

85:30

Dean Moxey delivers the ball, clearance made by Fitz Hall.

84:30

Free kick crossed right-footed by Jacob Butterfield from right wing.

84:30 Substitution

Substitution Jacob Butterfield joins the action as a substitute, replacing Stephen Dobbie.

84:30 Booking

Booking Nathaniel Chalobah is shown a yellow card.

84:23

Wilfried Zaha fouled by Nathaniel Chalobah, the ref awards a free kick.

83:43

Daniel Pudil crosses the ball, Peter Ramage makes a clearance.

82:02

Fernando Forestieri gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Richards. Free kick taken by Julian Speroni.

80:43

The free kick is swung in right-footed by Nathaniel Chalobah.

80:43 Booking

Booking Glenn Murray shown a yellow card.

80:37

Foul by Glenn Murray on Daniel Pudil, free kick awarded.

79:34

The ball is crossed by Wilfried Zaha, Damien Delaney produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

78:55

Fernando Forestieri challenges Wilfried Zaha unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stephen Dobbie takes the direct free kick.

77:10

Glenn Murray takes a shot. Blocked by Fitz Hall.

76:21

Tommie Hoban concedes a free kick for a foul on Wilfried Zaha. Ashley Richards crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, clearance by Tommie Hoban.

75:46

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tommie Hoban by Glenn Murray. Direct free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.

74:39

A cross is delivered by Wilfried Zaha, clearance by Lloyd Doyley.

73:47

Fernando Forestieri concedes a free kick for a foul on Dean Moxey. Julian Speroni takes the free kick.

72:40

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Stephen Dobbie.

72:29

Jonathan Williams crosses the ball, save made by Manuel Almunia.

71:16

The ball is crossed by Nathaniel Chalobah, clearance made by Peter Ramage. Almen Abdi has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

70:32

Unfair challenge on Nathaniel Chalobah by Kevin Phillips results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Lloyd Doyley.

69:28

Assist on the goal came from Ashley Richards.

69:28 Goal scored

Goal! - Kevin Phillips - Watford 2 - 2 C Palace Goal scored by Kevin Phillips from close range high into the middle of the goal. Watford 2-2 Crystal Palace.

69:26

Ashley Richards sends in a cross,

65:55 Goal scored

Goal! - Peter Ramage - Watford 2 - 1 C Palace Peter Ramage grabs a goal from inside the six-yard box high into the middle of the goal. Watford 2-1 Crystal Palace.

65:52

Damien Delaney takes a shot. Save by Manuel Almunia.

65:34

Corner taken by Stephen Dobbie from the right by-line,

64:20

Free kick crossed by Stephen Dobbie, Fitz Hall makes a clearance.

64:20 Substitution

Substitution Fernando Forestieri replaces Matej Vydra.

64:20 Booking

Booking Marco Cassetti booked.

64:07

Jonathan Williams fouled by Marco Cassetti, the ref awards a free kick.

63:34

A cross is delivered by Dean Moxey.

62:46

Marco Cassetti produces a cross, Julian Speroni makes a save.

61:34

Dean Moxey is penalised for a handball. Manuel Almunia restarts play with the free kick.

59:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Troy Deeney on Kagisho Dikgacoi. Free kick crossed by Stephen Dobbie.

58:20

Wilfried Zaha takes a shot.

57:41

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Williams by Jonathan Hogg. Damien Delaney restarts play with the free kick.

56:37

Kevin Phillips takes a shot. Save by Manuel Almunia.

55:54

Shot by Kagisho Dikgacoi from outside the box goes high over the target.

53:23

Outswinging corner taken by Stephen Dobbie from the right by-line.

53:08 Substitution

Substitution Yannick Bolasie goes off and Kevin Phillips comes on.

52:55

Yannick Bolasie takes a shot. Blocked by Jonathan Hogg.

51:23

Troy Deeney takes a shot. Blocked by Peter Ramage.

49:06

A cross is delivered by Ashley Richards.

46:54

The ball is crossed by Jonathan Hogg, clearance made by Glenn Murray.

46:22

Almen Abdi takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Kagisho Dikgacoi.

45:23

The referee blows for offside. Manuel Almunia takes the indirect free kick.

45:01

The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Jonathan Williams replaces Alex Marrow.

45:00 +3:45 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

45:00 +3:03

Matej Vydra takes a corner.

45:00 +2:03

Free kick awarded for a foul by Yannick Bolasie on Troy Deeney. Shot on goal comes in from Almen Abdi from the free kick.

45:00 +0:10

Stephen Dobbie decides to take the corner short. The ball is delivered by Wilfried Zaha, save by Manuel Almunia. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Pudil by Yannick Bolasie. Daniel Pudil takes the direct free kick.

44:29

Daniel Pudil gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Yannick Bolasie. Free kick crossed left-footed by Dean Moxey, Lloyd Doyley manages to make a clearance.

43:49

The ball is sent over by Daniel Pudil, Damien Delaney manages to make a clearance. Shot from just outside the box by Almen Abdi goes over the bar.

42:41

Yannick Bolasie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tommie Hoban. Manuel Almunia restarts play with the free kick.

41:33

The ball is delivered by Wilfried Zaha, clearance by Jonathan Hogg. Stephen Dobbie takes a shot. Save by Manuel Almunia.

40:44

Almen Abdi takes a shot. Blocked by Damien Delaney.

39:21

The ball is crossed by Yannick Bolasie, Glenn Murray takes a shot. Save by Manuel Almunia.

38:58

Ashley Richards produces a cross, Jonathan Hogg makes a clearance.

37:51

The ball is crossed by Yannick Bolasie, clearance made by Marco Cassetti.

36:49

Alex Marrow fouled by Matej Vydra, the ref awards a free kick. Julian Speroni restarts play with the free kick.

32:56

Jonathan Hogg gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alex Marrow. Damien Delaney takes the direct free kick.

31:55

Daniel Pudil restarts play with the free kick.

31:55 Booking

Booking Troy Deeney is cautioned.

31:32 Booking

Booking Alex Marrow receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

31:18

Foul by Alex Marrow on Nathaniel Chalobah, free kick awarded.

28:04

The ball is delivered by Ashley Richards. The ball is swung over by Wilfried Zaha, Glenn Murray takes a shot. Manuel Almunia makes a save. Inswinging corner taken by Stephen Dobbie from the left by-line, Glenn Murray produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar. Effort from the edge of the box by Stephen Dobbie goes wide of the left-hand upright.

27:26

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Yannick Bolasie by Marco Cassetti. Damien Delaney takes the free kick.

26:37

Unfair challenge on Troy Deeney by Kagisho Dikgacoi results in a free kick. Manuel Almunia restarts play with the free kick.

26:03

Corner from left by-line taken by Yannick Bolasie.

25:39

Wilfried Zaha produces a cross. The ball is delivered by Stephen Dobbie, blocked by Marco Cassetti.

24:48

The ball is crossed by Stephen Dobbie, Tommie Hoban gets a block in. Stephen Dobbie decides to take the corner short.

23:56

A cross is delivered by Marco Cassetti, Matej Vydra has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

21:50

Unfair challenge on Jonathan Hogg by Alex Marrow results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jonathan Hogg.

20:49

Daniel Pudil delivers the ball. A cross is delivered by Marco Cassetti.

20:27

Marco Cassetti produces a cross, clearance made by Ashley Richards.

19:50

Yannick Bolasie is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Manuel Almunia takes the indirect free kick.

18:32

Shot by Yannick Bolasie from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.

17:57

A cross is delivered by Glenn Murray, save by Manuel Almunia.

13:04

Marco Cassetti has an effort at goal from 12 yards.

13:05

The assist for the goal came from Marco Cassetti.

13:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Nathaniel Chalobah - Watford 2 - 0 C Palace Nathaniel Chalobah finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close range. Watford 2-0 Crystal Palace.

13:02

Matej Vydra takes a shot. Blocked by Damien Delaney.

12:30

Corner from right by-line taken by Almen Abdi.

9:57

Ashley Richards delivers the ball.

7:33

Stephen Dobbie takes a shot. Manuel Almunia makes a save. Inswinging corner taken by Yannick Bolasie from the left by-line.

5:54 Goal scored

Goal! - Almen Abdi - Watford 1 - 0 C Palace Almen Abdi finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Watford 1-0 Crystal Palace.

4:05

Yannick Bolasie takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post.

3:26

Free kick crossed by Stephen Dobbie, Troy Deeney manages to make a clearance.

3:26 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Fitz Hall for unsporting behaviour.

3:21

Fitz Hall concedes a free kick for a foul on Yannick Bolasie.

2:41

Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Matej Vydra goes wide of the right-hand upright.

2:18

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Almen Abdi played to the near post, clearance made by Yannick Bolasie.

2:03

Almen Abdi takes a shot. Save by Julian Speroni.

1:31

Unfair challenge on Daniel Pudil by Wilfried Zaha results in a free kick. Nathaniel Chalobah restarts play with the free kick.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

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