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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
22:21 21st June 2012

After two morning pitch inspections this match at the City Ground was given the go ahead as Alex McLeish took charge of his first game in charge of Nottingham Forest. Ian Holloway made one change from the Boxing Day defeat at Cardiff as Andre Moritz came in for Owen Garvan. 

On nine minutes Palace had the perfect start as some good play in the middle saw the ball played wide to Dean Moxey and his cross from the left was converted by Glenn Murray from close range to give the visitors the early advantage. 

Forest's first opportunity of the game saw Julian Speroni down to his right to push a Billy Sharp shot around the post. 

Palace were soon back at the other end creating another chance as Jonathan Parr found Yannick Bolasie, whose ball into the box picked out Andre Moritz but as the ball came across his attempted volley didn't come off. 

On 19 minutes Moritz was involved again when he shot from distance from outside the box but his effort went wide of the target.

The woodwork was on Palace's side on 28 minutes when Radoslaw Majewski's cross was met by Billy Sharp and his diving header looked to be heading for the net after beating Julian Speroni but it struck the keeper's left hand post.

Forest were back on level terms right on the stroke of half time, after some pressure from the home side as the half came to a close it was Andy Reid's shot from 20 yards out that beat Speroni to put his side back all square.

In added time of the half a block from Danny Gabbidon denied Elliott Ward as the home side pushed for the advantage but the whistle went soon after and both sides went down the tunnel level. 

There were early opportunities at the start of the second half for both sides as Parr saw a cross-cum-shot saved by Lee Camp and then Wilfried Zaha found space down the left and unleashed a shot that went inches wide of keeper's post. 

As for Forest they started the second half in the same way as they ended the first as Chris Cohen's shot from distance was saved by Speroni.

Bolasie continued to show his threat down on the left hand side with some good footwork to beat his man and Murray just failed to connect with the cross as the striker dived towards goal. 

The first changes of the afternoon were made on the Palace bench with twenty minutes remaining as Jermaine Easter replaced Zaha and Jonny Williams came on for Moritz.

Palace soon regained the lead as Murray showed his power in front of goal once more, leaping high to meet a cross from Dikgacoi, and send the ball looping over Camp and into the corner.

There was still time for a twist though as five minutes of injury time were added and Billy Sharp struck from close range to bring the scores level. Speroni pulled off a superb save from the forward initially to tip the ball onto the post, after Blackstock had beaten Ramage to flick-on, but Sharp was on hand again at close range and tucked home the equaliser for a share of the spoils.

Teams:

Nottm Forest: Camp, Halford, Ward, Collins, Harding, Cohen (Lansbury  78), Guedioura (Cox 85), Majewski (McGugan 64), Reid, Sharp, Blackstock
Subs not used: Darlow, Gillett, Moussi, Moloney 
 
Bookings: Halford, Sharp, Harding. 

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Parr, Bolasie (Garvan 84), Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Zaha (Easter 72), Murray, Moxey, Ramage, Moritz (Williams 72), Gabbidon
Subs not used: Fitzsimons,Martin, O'Keefe, Appiah 

Booking: Jedinak. 

Referee: Mark Haywood - Att: 23,703 (Away: 1,800)