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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 Derby County 18 35
2 Bournemouth 18 32
3 Middlesbrough 18 32
4 Ipswich Town 18 31
5 Brentford 18 31
6 Blackburn Rovers 18 30
7 Watford 18 29
8 Nottingham Forest 18 28
9 Charlton Athletic 18 28
10 Norwich City 18 27
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 27
12 Cardiff City 18 26
13 Sheffield Wednesday 18 22
14 Huddersfield Town 18 21
15 Reading 18 21
16 Leeds United 18 20
17 Fulham 18 19
18 Millwall 18 19
19 Birmingham City 18 19
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 18 18
21 Bolton Wanderers 18 18
22 Rotherham United 18 18
23 Wigan Athletic 18 17
24 Blackpool 18 8