Eagles claw back at Pilgrims
Alan Lee's second-half header was enough to salvage a point for Crystal Palace as they were held by Plymouth.
Last Updated: 08/08/09 5:36pm
Crystal Palace rescued a point against Plymouth in the opening day of the new Championship season.
Alan Lee's second-half header was enough to secure a draw for Neil Warnock's side as they were held by the Pilgrims at Selhurst Park.
Krisztian Timar's fifth minute strike had given the visitors the lead but Lee got on the end of Victor Moses' fine cross to send the home crowd into raptures.
Lee had only been introduced as a first-half substitute after summer signing Stern John sustained a suspected broken arm.
Both sides pressed for a winner late on, but neither could find a way through as the game became a war of attrition.
Palace made a good start and almost went ahead after three minutes when Alassane N'Diaye crossed for John, who saw his header shave the post.
However, two minutes later Luke Summerfield's corner found Timar unmarked and he slammed the ball home from close range.
The home side immediately went in search of the equaliser and John was off target with an effort from distance before Neil Danns had a shot saved by Plymouth goalkeeper Romain Larrieu.
On-loan West Ham youngster Freddie Sears looked impressive up front for the Eagles and dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box.
Palace could have been level with 27 minutes gone but Clint Hill headed wide from close range after being round by Victor Moses' corner.
Plymouth were looking dangerous themselves and in particular Jamie Mackie, who had a shot clawed away by Julian Speroni.
The Eagles were dealt a blow with half hour gone when John suffered a suspected broken arm following an aerial challenge and he was replaced by Lee.
As the half came to a close Palace continued to pile forward and Sears let fly from 30 yards but Larrieu was equal to the shot.
Palace's misery was almost compounded in first-half stoppage time but Speroni made a fine save to keep out a header from Rory Fallon.
The home side began the second half with intent as they sought an equaliser and Sears had a shot from distance saved by Larrieu before getting one-on-one with the Plymouth keeper who made another good stop.
Both goalkeepers were in fine form and it was Speroni's turn next to make another fine save when he acrobatically tipped Fallon's header round the post.
With 63 minutes gone Palace's pressure paid off when Moses found space on the left and whipped in a fine cross that was met by Lee who headed home.
Late on Sears had another shot saved by Larrieu but both sides had to settle for a point.