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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 18 Dec 10 at 16:57 PM

Nottingham Forest 3 - 0 Crystal Palace

Forest celebrated their first game at The City Ground in five weeks with a convincing 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.

And it could easily have been several more if it had not been for a superb performance by Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni.

After the initial five minutes Forest dominated the first half and their efforts were rewarded with a goal in the 31st minute, with Luke Chambers' first of the season.

A superb debut goal from Marcus Tudgay gave Forest their second in the opening minute of the second half and substitute Garath McCleary put the game out of Palace's reach with a late third goal.

Forest took a few minutes to get into their stride and their first effort came six minutes into the game when Lewis McGugan smashed the ball in from 35 yards out, wide on the left and Speroni did well to beat the ball away.

Tudgay and Robert Earnshaw combined well to create another chance but Earnshaw's shot from 25 yards went over the crossbar.

Forest came close again when Paul Anderson fed the ball through to McGugan who curled it in right-footed from the right, just inside the box and Speroni just got a hand to the ball to clear the danger.

And a terrific effort by Earnshaw from 25 yards out took two deflections to take the ball into the arms of the keeper.

Some of the home crowd thought Forest had taken the lead when Earnshaw and Tudgay again combined well but Speroni was bundled out of the way by Tudgay as the ball went over the line.

Forest took the lead on the half-hour mark when the ball was driven in by McGugan from the corner, The ball ricocheted from player to player around the box before Chambers got on the end of it and headed the ball into the net.

A great ball by Raddy Majewski put Earnshaw through and as he ran into the box Speroni did well to come out and close him down.

An excellent cross by Nathaniel Clyne gave Palace a chance in the final minutes but Chris Gunter reacted quickly to get the ball away.

Tudgay marked his debut with a goal in the opening minute of the second half when he got on the end of Guy Moussi's ball. From 30 yards out he looked up and, seeing a stranded Speroni, lobbed the ball high over the keeper and into the top of the net.

Forest almost got a third when Earnshaw's shot took a massive deflection which wrong-footed Speroni who only just managed to clear the ball off the line.

And the keeper prevented another goal when McGugan fired in from the corner, low to the near post, where Speroni stopped Chambers from claiming his second.

Anderson burst between two Palace defenders and made a run into the box where the Palace keeper was again in place to make the save.

Majewski received a standing ovation when he left the pitch to be replaced by Aaron Ramsey, making his City Ground debut. And soon after that McGugan was replaced by Nathan Tyson.

Undoubtedly man of the match for Palace, Speroni made another save 12 minutes before time, diving to his left to deny Earnshaw.

Forest's third substitute Garath McCleary scored the third goal five minutes from full time when he picked up Tyson's cross from the left and sent the ball flying past Speroni and into the back of the net from 12 yards out.

An effort from Wilfreid Zaha in stoppage time was blocked by Chambers to give Forest a clean sheet.

Nottingham Forest: Camp(C), Gunter, Morgan, Chambers, Bertrand, Anderson(McCleary 82min), Moussi, Majewski(Ramsey 73min), McGugan(Tyson 77min), Tudgay, Earnshaw
Subs not used: Smith(GK), Wilson, Cohen, McKenna,
Scorers: Chambers 31min, Tudgay 46min, McCleary 85min

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Wright, Davis, McCarthy(C), Ambrose(Scannell 81min), Danns, Garvan, Dorman(Zaha 45min HT), N'Diaye, Counago(Andrew 63min)
Subs not used: Barrett, Price, O'Keefe, Gardner

Referee: N Swarbrick

Attendance: 22,359 Away attn:739

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