Holloway is pleased with red card response - but Eagles' wings are clipped again
10:04pm Saturday 22nd December 2012 in Crystal Palace
By Anthony Hay
Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway admitted he was "pleased" with the way his side reacted to Damien Delaney’s early dismissal against Huddersfield Town, after the Eagles were held to a third consecutive draw.
Thanks to Wilfried Zaha’s first-half strike, Palace looked to have taken all three points to move up to second place in the Championship, but they were pegged back with 15 minutes to go by Keith Southern’s freak goal.
Palace have now won just once in the past six league games, although Holloway's men have only lost once in that time.
Holloway said: “I was waiting for things to go slightly against us, so to see my lads’ reaction, all I can say is, I'm absolutely delighted.
“We had a man short and you wouldn't know it at times. Let’s bring on the rest of the season if that’s what we are like when it doesn't go our way.”
Palace were reduced to 10 men after 11 minutes when referee Graham Scott deemed Delaney’s reckless challenge on Jermaine Beckford to be worthy of a straight red.
The sending off forced Holloway to hand Danny Gabbidon his first senior Selhurst Park appearance with Owen Garvan having to make way.
Palace’s evening was made worse when Huddersfield were awarded a 19th minute penalty as former Eagles academy product Sean Scannell was judged to have been fouled by Joel Ward.
Midfielder Adam Clayton stepped up to take the penalty but his lacklustre effort was easily saved by Julian Speroni.
Glenn Murray should have capitalised on what would have been an early Christmas present when the Championship’s top scorer intercepted a Jack Hunt back-pass but was unable to convert from a tight angle.
Palace took the lead in the 39th minute when Zaha latched on to an exquisite flick from fellow winger Yannick Bolasie for the England international to lash home via the underside of the bar.
Zaha’s fifth goal of the season looked to be enough to give his side the three points but Southern – who played under Holloway at Blackpool – equalised with a tame effort that went through the hands and legs of Speroni.
Palace were given hope of taking all three points with 10 minutes to go when Anthony Gerrard was shown a straight red for a challenge on Bolasie - although replays suggested it was a harsh verdict.
However, Holloway’s side were unable to grab an all-important winner, and they go to leaders Cardiff City on Boxing Day four points adrift.