Watford 0 Crystal Palace 0

Last updated : 09 May 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Watford's amazing season is just 90 minutes away from ending the best way possible.

But the second leg of their play-off semi-final with Crystal Palace will be remembered for an astonishing touchline brawl that could have serious consequences for both clubs.

The Hornets never looked in danger of relinquishing the 3-0 lead they built up in a sensational second half at Selhurst Park, but what was always a competitive tie boiled over in amazing fashion on the hour.

The spark was innocuous enough with Watford manger Adrian Boothroyd attempting to get the ball to one of his players so the throw-in could be taken quickly, but he then clashed with Palace defender Fitz Hall.

All hell threatened to break loose as players and staff from both teams, plus stewards, became involved in a mass touchline melee.

When some form of order was finally restored Hall was booked, but the Hornets boss was sent to the stands raising the serious possibility he may be banned from the touchline for the final because the football authorities are almost certain to look into the incident.

That incident apart there was little meaningful action during the 90 minutes, with Watford's disciplined five-man midfield and defence coping impressively with the best Palace had to offer to the extent that Watford keeper Ben Foster was never seriously tested.

There was little goalmouth action until the last 20 minutes when Marlon King sent an overhead kick narrowly wide, before Palace substitute Jon Macken glanced a Marco Reich cross just the wrong side of Foster's left-hand upright.

Watford looked the more likely to go on and snatch an undeserved win as Palace were finally forced to admit defeat in their bid to reach another play-off final.

The final whistle sparked jubilant scenes amongst the ecstatic Watford fans as Boothroyd began to turn his mind to beating his former club, Leeds United, in Cardiff.