Crystal Palace 2 Aston Villa 2: match report

14 February 2010 05:50
Crystal Palace earned a lucrative replay but will feel aggrieved after losing the lead twice in an enthralling tie. [LNB]Johnny Ertl gave Palace the lead and though James Collins replied for Aston Villa, a stunning 35-yard free kick, from Darren Ambrose gave Palace the lead again only for Stiliyan Petrov to head an 87th minute equaliser. [LNB] Related ArticlesBolton 1 Tottenham 1Fulham 4 Notts County 0A day after another financially stricken club, Portsmouth, boosted their coffers with a quarter-final place, Palace began as if there was nothing to worry about. [LNB]They may be in administration, 10 points worse off and fearing a fight against relegation, but after Villa dominated the opening exchanges, they took the lead. [LNB]In the 24th minute, Palace won a corner and, from the left, Darren Ambrose's kick rose high and so did Ertl, a man not used to scoring goals. [LNB]The 27-year-old had scored just six career goals previously, for clubs in his native Austria, but he climbed easily to beat James Collins and claim his first Palace goal. [LNB]The lead, though, was short-lived with Villa replying 11 minutes later. Clint Hill fouled James Milner and, from Stewart Downing's free-kick, Collins climbed un challenged to plant a firm header beyond Julian Speroni. [LNB]But, in first-half added time, Ambrose showed his ability from dead-ball situations again, but this time his ferociously-struck free-kick was parried by Brad Friedel, the Villa goalkeeper making his first cup start of the season. [LNB]Martin O'Neill, without Gabriel Agbonlahor but fielding an otherwise full-strength side, made a change at the interval with John Carew replacing Emile Heskey in attack. [LNB]And the Norwegian soon made an impact, meeting a Downing pass and forcing Speroni to save well. [LNB]Villa began to increase the pressure but they found central defender Claude Davis in outstanding form. [LNB]But the Carling Cup finalists squandered a chance to take the lead in the 68th minute when James Milner's flick was dealt with sloppily by Nathaniel Clyne, along Ashley Young a free run at goal but the winger sent the ball across an open goal area and into safety. [LNB]But Palace responded and, in the 70th minute Ambrose struck a remarkable 35-yard free kick to put the Championship side back in the lead. And two minutes later, Ambrose almost added a third, his effort striking the Villa cross-bar. [LNB]But Villa were denied in the 77th minute when Collins had one effort parried by Speroni and another, from the corner, blocked on the line by Nathaniel Clyne. [LNB]But after Carew forced another impressive save out of Speroni, Villa leveled, with three minutes remaining. [LNB]Downing's corner fell to the far-post from where Stiliyan Petrov stopped to head the late equaliser. [LNB]

Source: Telegraph