Southampton's Danny Ings capitalised on a dreadful Martin Kelly pass to deny Crystal Palace victory at St Mary’s.

In form Ings struck his 16th league goal of the season with quarter an hour to go, cancelling out James Tomkins’s pinpoint header shortly after the break.

Palace were denied a lead going into the break as VAR narrowly adjudged Wilfried Zaha off-side in the build up to Max Meyer’s strike.

The point leaves Palace sitting comfortably in mid-table while Saints sit four points above the relegation zone.

VAR at the ready

An uneventful opening quarter threatened to be sparked into life on 15 minutes when Meyer, in his first start since the second game of the season, fired home Zaha's pull back.

Palace's celebrations were cut short as a VAR deemed Zaha's left shoulder offside in the build up.

Palace perhaps enjoyed their own moment of fortune in the 32nd minute when captain Luka Milivojevic escaped an early dismissal after furiously shouting at referee Andy Madley having been booked for bringing down Sofiane Boufal.

Saints defender Jan Bednarek then squandered the best opportunity of an opening 45 minutes devoid of a shot on target when he fired over at the back post following James Ward-Prowse's inviting free-kick from the right.

Tomkins breaks deadlock

The game was in desperate need of a breakthrough and it arrived five minutes after the restart.

Milivojevic lifted a delightful free-kick into the box, allowing Tomkins to rise and nod his first goal since January into the bottom-right corner via the underside of the crossbar.

Palace appealed in vain for a 59th-minute penalty after Ward-Prowse clumsily clattered into Meyer following Zaha's powerful surge down the right.

Saints were struggling to breakdown stubborn opposition until they received a helping hand in the 74th minute.

Kelly's sloppy backwards pass rolled behind team-mate Tomkins, allowing the prolific Ings, who had been rested at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day, to run in on goal and coolly slot beyond Vicente Guaita.

Things almost became worse for Hodgson’s side were it not for a sensational one-handed save from Spanish goalkeeper Guaita denying Saints substitute Moussa Djenepo to prevent a quick-fire turnaround.

Southampton edged the closing stages but were unable to force a winner.