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Alan Pardew sure Crystal Palace can go one better than 1990 and win FA Cup

C Palace 2 - Watford 1

By Andy Sims

Published 25/04/2016

Glory boy: Connor Wickham celebrates after scoring the winner for Crystal Palace against Watford in the FA Cup semi-final
Glory boy: Connor Wickham celebrates after scoring the winner for Crystal Palace against Watford in the FA Cup semi-final

Alan Pardew guided Crystal Palace to the second FA Cup final in their history - and the Eagles boss is determined to succeed where the class of 1990 failed.

Connor Wickham's header just after the hour mark secured a 2-1 win over Watford and a return to Wembley to face Manchester United, but it was Yannick Bolasie's sixth-minute opener that evoked memories of Steve Coppell's side who reached the final 26 years ago, where they lost to United after a replay.

As a player Pardew had memorably nodded the Eagles into that final with their dramatic extra-time winner against Liverpool.

And just over a quarter of a century later, as Palace manager, he was celebrating with a clenched fist and a knowing grin as the current Eagles side created a carbon copy. This time it was Yohan Cabaye, rather than Andy Gray, who swung in a corner towards the near post.

Damien Delaney reprised the Andy Thorn flick-on and Bolasie applied the Pardew finish, squeezing his header between the far post and Hornets goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.

"We paid a bit of homage to that side with the flick-on for the corner," smiled Pardew. "Steve Coppell can take a bit of credit for that one. This is a different team, with a different spirit, but the characteristics are similar to 1990. They are hard-working, diligent, with good defenders and some pace on the attack.

"I just hope the destiny isn't the same result in the final."

Watford, with Northern Ireland international Craig Cathcart in defence, were disappointing apart from a brief spell after half-time, when captain Troy Deeney headed in Jose Jurado's corner to equalise.

However, they were level for just six minutes before Pape Souare sent an inviting high cross towards Wickham, who rose above Nathan Ake and guided his header across Pantilimon and into the far corner.

West Ham: Adrian, Antonio, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Lanzini, Sakho (Moses 78),Carroll (Emenike 87), Payet (Collins 90).

Goals: Carroll 11,Noble 45 pen,53 pen.

Watford: Gomes, Paredes, Prodl, Cathcart, Holebas, Guedioura (Anya 57), Behrami, Mario Suarez, Abdi (Deeney 76), Jurado (Berghuis 56), Amrabat.

Sent Off: Amrabat (90).

Booked: Prodl,Mario Suarez,Amrabat.

Goals: Prodl 64.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).

 

Belfast Telegraph

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