Carle strike denies Blades
Eagles salvage last-gasp share of the spoils
Last Updated: 20/12/08 7:33pm
Carle: Last-gasp leveller
Nick Carle struck with the last kick of the game as Crystal Palace snatched a 2-2 draw against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
It had looked like being an unhappy return for Neil Warnock to South Yorkshire when James Beattie fired the home side ahead from the penalty spot late on.
The Blades had taken the lead through Nathan Dyer's fine finish just before half-time, however, Palace levelled virtually straight after the restart through Paddy McCarthy.
Beattie's penalty had looked enough to give United all three points before Carle smashed a left-footed volley home as Palace through caution to the wind deep into injury-time.
Both sides offered little until Beattie called Julian Speroni into action for the first time in the 35th minute. Beattie chanced his arm from 35 yards with a dipping free-kick but the shot was straight at the Palace goalkeeper.
Dyer then pounced on an awful 41st-minute back header from Jose Fonte to run through and drive across Speroni from the edge of the area.
Warnock will not have been happy with his side's opening half but they were level within two minutes of the restart.
Carle's corner from the right was not cleared and centre-half McCarthy latched onto the loose ball to crash a left-footed volley past Paddy Kenny from eight yards.
The Eagles continued to press and teenager Sean Scannell should have worked Kenny but after a delightful first touch made space for a shot he lost his footing.
Kevin Blackwell's side had been on the back foot but came close to regaining the lead in the 63rd minute.
Matthew Kilgallon - operating at left-back - made a bright run down the line and delivered a good cross to the near post where Danny Webber got in front of his marker but flashed his header into the side netting.
Speroni was then at his best to claw another Webber header out before reacting quickly to gather the loose ball ahead of Ugo Ehiogu.
It was a top save to keep the Eagles in it and they went straight down the other end to fashion an even better chance.
John Oster hit a tame free-kick into the wall but Shaun Derry collected the ball to crash a 25-yard strike onto the crossbar.
The rebound fell perfectly for McCarthy to slot his second but the defender this time produced a terrible finish to shank over with the goal at his mercy.
It was to prove a costly miss as McCarthy was then harshly penalised for a push on Beattie and the striker slammed home emphatically from the penalty spot.
That looked like settling the matter until the 95th minute when Derry's desperate ball forward was only half cleared and Carle showed admirable technique to steer a powerful volley into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 20th Dec
Birmingham1 - 3Reading
Derby1 - 0Watford
Doncaster0 - 1Wolves
Cardiff2 - 0Sheff Wed
Norwich1 - 0Charlton
Southampton0 - 2N Forest
Coventry2 - 2Ipswich
Barnsley2 - 0Plymouth
Blackpool1 - 1Swansea
Bristol C1 - 2Burnley
QPR3 - 2Preston
Sheff Utd2 - 2C Palace
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||19||39|
|10||Brighton and Hove Albion||19||28|