Sheffield United v Crystal Palace 20/12/08
SHEFFIELD UNITED 2 v 2 CRYSTAL PALACE
Welcome to this afternoon's game at Bramall Lane as Palace take on Neil Warnock's old Sheffield United side.
There's a huge surprise in the Palace side as Paddy McCarthy is deemed fit to play just a week after dislocating his shoulder against Doncaster Rovers last Saturday.
In the only change Sean Scannell returns on the wing in place of Leandre Griffit.
Sheffield United: Kenny, Morgan (c), Kilgallon, Beattie, Webber, Montgomery, Dyer, Howard, Quinn, Naughton, Ehiogu. Subs: Halford, Cotterill, Stokes, Bennett, Sharp.
Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Fonte, McCarthy, Hill, Derry (c), Carle, Oster, Ifill, Scannell, Kuqi. Subs: Lawrence, Butterfield, Moses, Griffit, Lee.
Warnock gets a good reception when he comes out but there are a few boos for ex-Sheffield Wednesday striker Shefki Kuqi.
Could be a good day today for Palace. A win will propell them into sixth place for Christmas, which I'm sure they would have taken back in August.
1 min: United get us underway after a brief pause waiting for the Sky cameras to get ready.
4 min: Clyne is forced to clear away at the back post as Webber does brilliantly to get a cross in from the right which Quinn should have done better than get a glancing touch to at the near post. A bit of a let-off for Palace.
7 min: YELLOW CARD: Montgomery booked after overrunning the ball and going in studs up on Fonte's ankle. Was a bad tackle.
10 min: A good start from both sides, with Clyne in particular looking impressive already and it seems he has been told to get forward as much as possible down the right.
13 min: Carle gets space on the box but elects not to shoot and the chance is lost.
15 min: YELLOW CARD. Derry booked for a trip on Quinn. I think repeat offending is the charge.
16 min: Palace make a mess of clearing the free kick and Webber miskicks when free two yards form goal and Speroni saves.
18 min: Good build up play from Palace but at full stretch Oster cannot get enough on Ifill's cross.
21 min: All a little dull right now. The ball is spending too much time in the air and both sides are giving it away cheaply.
25 min: Palace need a plan B from the back really. Every time they hit it long towards Kuqi, Ehiogu is getting their first.
28 min: First shot in a long while as Carle finds Oster in space out wide, he runs into the box but blazes wide. Was a tough chance.
31 min: YELLOW CARD: Kuqi goes into the book for a sliding tackle on dyer. The big Finn has been very frustrated so far. Free kick in a good spot for United.
32 min: Beattie shoots but that was easy for Speroni who holds on to it at the second attempt. Was too far out for a shot.
34 min: United break at pace and Derry does weel to put Beattie off as he looks to get a head to Naughton's cross. There's a bit more noise from the home fans now.
39 min: Better from the home side who are starting to settle now as Webber is flagged offside from Beattie's header. I've seen that Montgomery tackle early on a few times now and he may just be a very lucky boy to still be on the pitch.
41 min: GOAL. An awful mistake from Jose Fonte gifts Nathan Dyer a goal. The Portuguese got his header back to Speroni from half way inside his own half all wrong and Dyer calmly ran onto it and finished past Speroni. Terrible mistake.
43 min: Palace almost level straight away as Kenny beats out Carle's shot. Hopefully that goal will give us a better game now.
45 min: Two minutes added on and half time can't come quick enough.
45 min: YELLOW CARD. Hill booked for a late challenge on Montgomery. That's his fifth of the season and he will now miss the Bristol match.
HALF TIME: In truth Palace have been poor. They haven't created much and Ehiogu and Morgan have dominated in the air. If they are going to get level they need to use Scannell and Clyne more down the right. United haven't been great either though.
46 min: SUB: Lee replaces the ineffectual Kuqi as United get us back under way.
47 min: GOAL. Palace are level and it's that bionic man McCarthy. Clyne wins a corner down the right which Oster takes. Panic ensues in the Sheffield box and the Irishman prods it home. He taps that dislocated shoulder in celebration.
52 min: Even again right now and we are back to both sides giving the ball away, although Lee has already won more headers against Ehiogu than Kuqi did.
54 min: Oh dear, huge embarrassment for Scannell as he slips over when preparing to shoot five yards out. Was a good chance.
56 min: Oster tries an ambitious volley from 25 yards when he had space to run in to.
56 min: SUB: Ifill off, Moses on
58 min: Ehiogu just fails to get a header to Quinn's corner. Was a free header and he should have done better.
62 min: Good build up play again by Palace but Moses' cross is too near Kenny.
63 min: Much better game as United go straight down the other and Kilgallon crosses for Webber at the near post but he heads wide.
66 min: Super save from Speroni as Webber gets a head to Quinn's cross. He gathers at the second attempt under pressure from Ehiogu and gets clattering for his troubles.
68 min: YELLOW CARD. Morgan booked for a trip on Clyne as he went to collect Lee's pass.
68 min: Terrible miss. Oster's free kick hits the wall and comes back to Derry. He strikes it and Kenny does well to tip his shot on to the crossbar. The rebound falls invitingly for McCarthy all one five yard out but he side foots over.
72 min: SUB: Dyer off, Stokes on.
74 min: Oster's corner flicked on at the near post and goes just wide.
76 min: Montgoomery heads into the box and Ehiogu turns and volleys wide. Was in loads of space but looked offside.
76 min: SUB: Webber off, Cotterill on.
79 min: An escape for Speroni as he completely misses Quinn's free kick and Ehiogu heads wide. He is a real threat the veteran.
79 min: SUB: Oster off, Butterfield on as Warnock looks to protect what he has. Expect him to sit in front of the back four with Derry.
80 min: Attendance 23,045
82 min: Moses meets Lee's cross at the near post with an audacious flick but Kenny saves with his legs.
85 min: Quinn's corner goes all the way through to Morgan at the back post but he heads wide. Was a chance.
87 min: PENALTY. McCarthy tugs on Beattie's shirt and gives the striker the chance to win it.
87 min: Sure enough he steps up and blasts it home. To be honest there has been a lot of shirt pulling all game by both sides and that wasn't the worst of it. It's quite possible the ref was slightly influenced by the crowd there.
90 min: YELLOW CARD: Kilgallon booked for time-wasting.
90 min: SUB: Howard off, Halford on.
90 min: Four minutes added on
94 min: GOAL! Palace equalise as Nick Carle shoots home from inside the box as United fail to clear Shaun Derry's long punt up field.
FULL TIME: And that's it, the last kick of the match. Was a great finish from Carle but in truth there may well have been a little more than four minutes there. Oh well, who's complaining. See you on Boxing Day for Norwich at Selhurst.