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22:19 21st June 2012


Dexter Blackstock's late equaliser denied Palace a third win in a row after Kagisho Dikgacoi's header had looked set to give Dougie Freedman's side all three points on the back of an excellent performance.

Freedman made three changes to the side that overcame Charlton at the Valley on Friday as Dean Moxey, Joel Ward and Jonny Williams came into the side to face high-flying Nottingham Forest.

After the morale-boosting victory against the Addicks, Palace started well with Wilfried Zaha showcasing his tricks against Greg Halford as the teams begun the game testing each other at arm's length. Freedman's side were almost first to draw blood as Owen Garvan and Glenn Murray combined to win a corner and Damien Delaney climbed highest when the ball was put back in only to see his header bounce down on to the post and safety.

Simon Cox and Billy Sharp showed early flashes of a partnership that could prove fruitful at this level but were well marshalled by Delaney and Peter Ramage as Williams and Murray made sure Forest keeper Lee Camp was alert with efforts from distance. Jedinak and Zaha continued that 'shoot on sight policy' as the Eagles dominated the opening half an hour, although Sharp served notice of the visitors' attacking threat glancing a near post header just wide.

Forest had come back into the game after Palace's strong start but it was Freedman's side who began the second half well and went ahead after 50 minutes when Dikgacoi, Friday's hero, leapt highest to meet Garvan's corner and give his side the lead.

Immediately Forest threatened on the break and Lewis McGugan was only denied by Ward's fantastic sliding block but the game looked to turn in the home side's favour as Adlene Guedioura was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Jedinak and the visitors went down to ten men. Palace looked to go for the jugular with the second goal and Zaha's quick feet out wide set up a shooting chance for substitute Yannick Bolasie that was well blocked before the same player fired wide on the run.

Ramage thought he had given Freedman's side a two goal lead only to see his header ruled out for pushing and suddenly Forest were level. Simon Cox showing his quality, turning on the edge of the box and slipping a pass through to Dexter Blackstock to poke a finish under Speroni for the equaliser. Blackstock almost gave his side an unlikely victory with a close range header than forced Speroni to produce an early candidate for save of the season but most of the pressing was Palace's as Zaha's box of tricks continued to tease Greg Halford but Sean O'Driscoll's side held firm to continue their unbeaten start to the Championship season.


Crystal Palace: Julian Speroni, Joel Ward, Kagisho Dikgacoi (Jonathan Parr 67), Owen Garvan, Mile Jedinak (c), Wilfried Zaha, Glenn Murray, Jonathan Williams (Yannick Bolasie 56), Dean Moxey, (Andre Moritz 84), Damien Delaney, Peter Ramage

Subs Not Used: Lewis Price, Aaron Martin, David Goodwillie, Aaron Wilbraham

Bookings: Murray

Nottingham Forest: Lee Camp, Sam Hutchinson (Adlene Guedioura 40), Dan Harding, Simon Gillett, Danny Collins (c), Lewis McGugan (Radoslaw Majewski 79), Andy Reid, Greg Halford, Simon Cox, Billy Sharp Dexter (Blackstock 73), Daniel Ayala

Subs Not Used: Karl Darlow, Guy Moussi, Brendan Moloney, James Coppinger, 

Bookings: Halford, Guedioura, Blackstock

Sendings off: Guedioura
    Data provided by Press Association