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15:54 10th December 2011

Nottingham Forest 0 Crystal Palace 1

Dougie Freedman returned to one of his former clubs as he made five changes to the starting line up from the midweek defeat at Barnsley. The home side they went into the game without a goal in their last three but Steve Cotterill named an unchanged line up from the one that lost at Brighton. A couple of early half chances fell the home side's way in the opening minutes of the game. A long ball played forward found Marcus Tudgay but his ball back to Garath McCleary was cleared by the Palace defence before he could get a shot in on goal. Then a cross come shot from Moussi went wide of the target as Julian Speroni watched it go out of play. The visitors first attack was not long in coming as a quick breakaway found Glenn Murray whose shot was parried away by Lee Camp, who was caught by surprise as to how soon the striker decided to shoot at goal. At the other end Speroni was called upon twice in quick succession to keep his side on level terms. He made a superb save to turn a header from Luke Chambers around the post and then was down again saving to his right to deny McCleary as his shot from distance was pushed around for a corner. McCleary was soon in the action again in a dominant start for Forest. Radoslaw Majewski and McCleary combined well to set the former up with a shooting chance which he took advantage of and saw his effort turned around the post by Speroni. From the corner, there were appeals from Forest for a penalty as they thought Chambers was being held - the referee waved away appeals from both the players and the home bench.   As the first half came to its conclusion Palace started to make their own stamp on the game and had a good chance for the breakthrough with a free kick just outside the box. Sean Scannell found Gardner whose shot was pushed over the bar by Camp. From the resulting corner the home side broke and crossed for Tudgay but his shot didn't trouble Speroni.  The first effort on goal of the second half came from the home side as Majewski had a chance to shoot from inside the box after combining well with Tudgay but he put the effort over the bar. The same player soon had another chance but this time his shot at goal was deflected wide and out of danger.  Palace then had the chance that mattered as they made the breakthrough courtesy of a fine finish from Murray. He was played in by a lovely pass from Wilfried Zaha and made no mistake shooting home across goal past Camp into the corner of the net. Straight away at the other end Cunningham crossed from the left and Tudgay got a header in on goal, but it was a comfortable save for Speroni. After a shot from distance by David Wright went over the bar at one end it was Forest's turn as McCleary broke clear down the left, got the cross in and it had to be turned over his own bar by Speroni.   Cotterill made a couple of changes to his line up as he brought on Lewis McGugan and Dexter Blackstock as they looked to break down a good defensive performance from the visitors. McGugan was straight into the action as he took a free kick on the edge of the box after a foul on Blackstock, this was blocked though by the wall and then Murray blocked the follow up from earlier substitiute Andy Reid. The introduction of Jermaine Easter for Scannell soon followed Kagisho Dikgacoi coming into the game for Stuart O Keefe.   The chances in the latter stages of the game for the home side were at a minimum with the best being a header apiece from Luke Chambers and Blackstock whilst a shot was saved low down by Speroni from McGugan. Murray's fifth league goal sealed the points as Palace produced some excellent defending and after seeing off some early pressure from Forest came much more into the game and recorded an impressive three points at The City Ground. Teams: Nottm Forest Camp, Gunter, Morgan (Reid 20), Chambers, Cunningham, Anderson (McGugan 72), Moussi, Greening, Majewski (Blackstock 72), Tudgay, McCleary. Subs Not Used: Smith, Findley. Booked: Cunningham, Greening, Moussi, Blackstock. Crystal Palace Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy, Gardner, Parr, Zaha, Jedinak, Wright, O'Keefe (Dikgacoi 77), Scannell (Easter 81), Murray. Subs Not Used: Price, Ambrose, Martin. Booked: Jedinak, Zaha, Murray. Att: 21, 405  Referee : Phil Gibbs (West Midlands). 
    Data provided by Press Association