Darren Powell made a goalscoring return tonight.

The Saints centre half was making his first appearance since injuring an ankle against Stoke at the end of August - his only first team game of 2007/08.

And Powell celebrated his latest comeback by heading an 81st minute equaliser from an Adam Hammill free-kick in a 1-1 reserve draw against Crystal Palace at Staplewood.

Palace had taken the lead on 17 minutes through Ben Kudjodji.

Ex-Palace star Powell, 31, had given Saints a scare in the first half when he collided with defensive colleague Gregory Vignal.

He required treatment to his ankle but was able to carry on.

At the start of the second half a slip by Powell let in Charlie Sheringham, son of Teddy, who shot wide.

Apart from Powell, Hammill and Vignal, Saints featured one other player who has appeared in the Championship this season - loanee defender Alan Bennett.

Midfielder Mario Licka, whose only first team outing this season was in the Carling Cup loss at Peterborough almost two months ago, also started.

Saints: Poke, Lancashire, Vignal, James, Powell, Bennett, Thomson, Hammill, Baseya, Licka, Dutton-Black. Subs: Giallombardo, Imudia, Gobern, Pernecky.