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Sky Bet Championship

Selhurst Park (ATT 17,109) 18th August 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: A D'Urso

C Palace Crystal Palace vs Watford Watford

C Palace 2

O Garvan (pen 13, 29)

ft

Watford 3

M Taylor (22)
A Abdi (88)
M Vydra (90+4)

New boys help Hornets to win

Last Updated: 18/08/12 5:46pm

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Eustace: Tries to hold off Jedinak

Eustace: Tries to hold off Jedinak

Watford new boys Almen Abdi and Matej Vydra secured the Hornets a 3-2 win at Crystal Palace in Gianfranco Zola's first Championship game.

Swiss midfielder Abdi and Czech striker Vydra, both on loan with the Hornets from Udinese - the Italian club also owned by Vicarage Road bosses, the Pozzo family - found the net in the last three minutes to sink a Palace side who had led for the best part of an hour.

Owen Garvan had twice put the hosts ahead in the first half with Martin Taylor equalising for Watford.

But Abdi levelled again with a 25-yard strike before Vydra sent the visiting fans wild with the winner deep into stoppage time.

Zola's side created the first chance with Joe Garner planting an early header wide before Abdi shot straight at Julian Speroni.

But Palace went ahead after 13 minutes when Hornets skipper John Eustace brought down Wilfried Zaha in the area.

Referee Andy D'Urso had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Garvan coolly found the top corner.

Watford attempted to hit straight back with Garner's header clipping the bar and a deflection sending Mark Yeates' shot wide.

And they got their equaliser in the 22nd minute when Palace failed to clear a corner from Carl Dickinson.

Sean Murray blasted the loose ball back towards goal and Speroni spilled it at the feet of Taylor, who had the simple task of tapping it into the net.

But Palace got their noses back in front just seven minutes later, Garvan controlling a flick-on from Speroni's goal-kick on his chest before lashing the ball past former Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia.

The Eagles could have been two ahead before half-time but Taylor cleared a header from Kagisho Dikgacoi off the line.

After the interval Dickinson's free-kick found Eustace in the area but the midfielder skied his effort.

Murray also fired over from long range and Dickinson's shot flew wide.

Palace also had their chances after the break, with Mile Jedinak heading Garvan's corner over the top.

Zola threw on big striker Chris Iwelumo, who climbed off the bench to hit the winner against Wycombe in the Capital One Cup last weekend, with 12 minutes to go.

But it was Abdi who sparked the comeback with a superb long-range strike after collecting the ball from Vydra.

And with virtually the last kick of the game Vydra latched on to Dickinson's pass and fired past Speroni from outside the box.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 21 39
2 Middlesbrough 21 39
3 Derby County 21 38
4 Ipswich Town 21 38
5 Brentford 21 37
6 Watford 21 35
7 Norwich City 21 33
8 Blackburn Rovers 21 31
9 Nottingham Forest 21 30
10 Charlton Athletic 21 30
11 Cardiff City 21 30
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 30
13 Sheffield Wednesday 21 28
14 Fulham 21 25
15 Birmingham City 21 25
16 Reading 21 25
17 Huddersfield Town 21 24
18 Bolton Wanderers 21 23
19 Leeds United 21 23
20 Millwall 21 23
21 Rotherham United 21 21
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 21 18
23 Wigan Athletic 21 17
24 Blackpool 21 13