Football: Super-sub Phillips rescues Palace

Kevin Phillips came off the bench to score his first goal for Crystal Palace and rescue a 2-2 draw against his old club Watford in a battle of Championship promotion chasers on Friday.

Phillips was making his second appearance for Palace after joining the south London team from Blackpool last month and he picked the perfect venue to get off the mark as he returned to Watford almost 16 years after leaving Vicarage Road.

The 39-year-old former England forward's contribution was crucial for Palace, who trailed 2-0 at half-time but recovered to snatch a point thanks to two goals in the space of four minutes after the break.

Watford are now level on points with second placed Leicester in the race for automatic promotion, while Palace are fifth, one point behind the Hornets.

Gianfranco Zola's Watford were looking to break into the top two for the first time this season and looked every inch a team in form as they tore into Palace from the first whistle.

Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni could do nothing to prevent Swiss midfielder Almen Abdi firing the Hornets ahead in the sixth minute with a fine finish.

Watford increased their lead in the 14th minute when Marco Cassetti's attempted volley towards goal flew straight into the turf and bounced up kindly for teenage Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah to nod into an empty net at the far post.

But Ian Holloway's Palace were given a lifeline in the 66th minute when Peter Ramage bundled the ball home after Damien Delaney's header was blocked on the line.

And four minutes later they were level through Phillips, who arrived at the far post to meet a low cross from Richards with a cool strike.