Crystal Palace 1 Hull City 1

Last updated : 30 January 2007 By Footymad Previewer
Peter Taylor's Eagles went in front after 51 minutes when skipper Carl Fletcher scored his second goal in two weeks, but battling Hull recovered with Ian Ashbee levelling 21 minutes later.

But the match, played in blustery conditions, was far from a classic.

The first piece of action came on 24 minutes when Michael Turner was lucky to get away with just a yellow card after he clashed with Stuart Green.

Indeed, the first attempt on goal didn't arrive until the half-hour when Boaz Myhill saved brilliantly to deny Leon Cort.

The Californian keeper was in action again a few minutes later as he pulled off another fine save, this time stopping Dougie Freedman's header going in.

On 35 minutes Stephen McPhee got booked for diving after rounding Palace keeper Scott Flinders who had left his goal, and McPhee lasted a further two minutes before leaving the field with a pulled hamstring as a result of the dive.

For Hull, their best chance came right on the stroke of half-time. It was too good to be true as Dean Windass's free-kick hit the post, via a slight finger-tip save from Flinders, but Nick Forster, with the entire goal in front of him, failed to get a good connection and the ball which went well over the bar.

The second half started just as slowly as the first but a fantastic goal from Fletcher lifted the game on 51 minutes.

Mark Kennedy, in central midfield, laid on a neat pass to Jobi McAnuff who was offered a little space near the left touchline.

McAnuff cut inside before cleverly dragging the ball back for Fletcher to unleash a tremendous 25-yard shot which whistled into the top corner of the net.

Shefki Kuqi should have done better with a close-range header but couldn't keep the ball down while, at the other end, Hull were denied when Flinders made a good save to stop Dean Marney.

The Tigers were turning the screw and asking the questions. It was no more than Hull deserved when, from Marney's corner, skipper Ian Ashbee was given a little bit of space in the goalmouth to flick a downward header beyond Flinders' reach and into the far corner of the net.

Now Palace upped the tempo and took charge of the last 15 minutes. Cort volleyed from ten yards out but somehow Myhill got a hand to it to pull off a tremendous reflex save.

Then, well into stoppage time, Hull had a great chance to secure all three points after Flinders fumbled the ball onto the post, but a close-range effort from Forster flew wide.