Crystal Palace 1 Coventry City 1: Best intervenes to give Dowie return to savour

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The Independent Football

Iain Dowie has not had the easiest relationship with Crystal Palace so when, with three minutes remaining, substitute Leon Best lashed in a deserved equaliser it gave the Coventry City manager a satisfying return to SE25.

Dowie was booed by some of the crowd as he stepped out at the club he had once managed and the first half that followed was an unhappy one for him. Despite Coventry having sufficient amounts of possession, it was Palace who took the lead on 26 minutes. James Scowcroft and Dougie Freedman combined intelligently inside the penalty area and midfielder Stuart Green converted the eventual cross.

City's quality in front of goal was lacking at times and this was emphasised by Dowie's decision to take off both strikers midway through the second half. It proved to be an inspired choice, substitute Best taking advantage of confusion in the area to score from close range. All of the players ran over to their manger to celebrate; Dowie, though, remained impassive.

Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Speroni; Butterfield, Cort, Hudson, Craig; Soares, Watson, Fletcher, Green; Freedman, Scowcroft. Substitutes not used: Flinders (gk), Lawrence, Idrizaj, Martin, Dickov.

Coventry City (4-4-2): Konstantopoulos; Hall, De Zeeuw, Ward, Borrowdale; Cairo (Thornton, 70), Doyle, S Hughes, Tabb; Adebola (Best, 62), McKenzie (Simpson, 72). Substitutes not used: Marshall (gk), Hawkins.

Referee: A Woolmer (Northamptonshire).