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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
09:07 20th December 2010

Nottm Forest 3 Crystal Palace 0

Nottingham Forest came out for a championship game at the City Ground for the first time in five weeks and Billy Davies started loan signing Marcus Tudgay in a striking partnership with Robert Earnshaw. Forest's other loanee Aaron Ramsey was named on the bench.

George Burley was able to welcome back Darren Ambrose but was without James Vaughan for the first time as he has returned to Everton after his loan spell. As in the last away game at Leeds, Wilfried Zaha was named on the bench.

Nottingham Forest continued their impressive home record with a convincing victory here at The City Ground. The win was confirmed with two second half goals but their chances started after just six minutes.

Julian Speroni was in great form and his first save came when parried a fierce shot from Lewis McGugan struck a shot goalwards from just over 30 yards out. This early pressure was to set the trend for the game and it
was not long before he was called upon again. Paul Anderson found Mc Gugan whose curling right footed shot from the edge of the box was turned away by the 'keeper as he managed to get a hand to the shot.

Tudgay's partner Earnshaw was keen to be in the action and he saw his shot from distance go over the bar and then one from similar distance just minutes later ended up in the arms of Speroni after taking a deflection on its way through.

The home contingent in the crowd of just over 22,000 thought they had seen the opening goal of the afternoon when Tudgay got the ball into the net but his good exchange of passes with Earnshaw counted for nothing as referee Neil Swarbrick adjudged that Speroni had been fouled in the process.

It was not long though before the first goal did come and it came from a corner. On 31 minutes McGugan's corner came over and Luke Chambers's header gave his side the lead and he opened his own account for season 2010/11.

In their next move Earnshaw had a chance from 12 yards out from goal after being sent clear by Raddy Majewski but he was denied by Speroni.

Palace nearly got a chance to go in on level terms after good work down the right by Nathaniel Clyne but his cross was cleared by Chris Gunter as a chance looked to be opening up in the box for Burley's side.

The boss made a change at the break with Zaha replacing Andrew Dorman but Palace had the worst possible start to the half.

Tudgay marked his Forest debut in fine style as he took a pass from Gu Moussi and from distance saw a chance to lob the keeper and Speroni could only watch as the ball went over his head and into the net to extend the lead for the home side.

As in the first the 'keeper kept the margin down. Speroni did well to clear the ball off the line when an Earnshaw shot was deflected on its way goalwards.

Chambers was soon close to getting his second when he got on the end of a corner from McGugan but an outstanding save denied him.

Late opportunities for Anderson and Earnshaw were denied by the 'keeper but the win was confirmed with six minutes remaining. Gareth McCleary picked up a pass from Tyson on the left hand side and he made no mistake firing past the keeper to extend the winning margin.

The second half saw Calvin Andrew and Sean Scannell introduced from the bench but it was the other sub, Zaha who had Palace's best chance which didn't come until stoppage time. His shot from close range was blocked by Chambers to complete a disappointing afternoon for the Palace fans who had braved the elements to make the journey.


    Data provided by Press Association