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Match Report


Posted Sat 31 Mar 12 at 16:59 PM

Crystal Palace 0 v 3 Nottingham Forest

A second half hat-trick by Radi Majewski gave Forest a valuable away win at Crystal Palace.

It was a quiet start for the home side with Forest dominating the early part of the first game and after a very subdued period of play Palace livened up towards the end of the half and created the best chance of the first 45 minutes.

The second half was a much more enjoyable performance for the travelling fans and Majewski went over to them at the end of the game to celebrate.

The first shot of the game went Forest's way with Majewski shooting from 25 yards out but slicing the ball wide of the goal.

Good build-up play by Forest resulted in a good cross from the left by Greg Cunningham who found Dexter Blackstock in space and Julian Speroni had to dive to his left to make a fairly easy save.

Forest looked confident and continued to dominate with Palace giving them far too much space and time on the ball.

After a quiet period in the game more good build-up play gave Forest a chance when Andy Reid found Majewski who got away from two and sent the ball across the face of goal, but it went just wide of the far post.

It was 37 minutes before Palace created their first chance when Patrick McCarthy picked out Owen Garven who had made a run from midfield and, unmarked and in plenty of space, he sent his effort wide of the target.

And they missed another opportunity when Sean Scannell got away unmarked down the right but then put in a cross which was far too powerful for Glenn Murray to get on the end of. Late in the half Forest went on the attack when Garath McCleary raced after the ball and managed to get it into the six-yard box where Blackstock was unable to direct the ball towards goal but Andy Reid ran onto it and curled his shot wide.

After a slow start to the second half Forest took the lead when McCleary played the ball through to Majewski who got past his man and cut into the penalty area, beat the keeper at the near post and smashed the ball high into the top corner of the net.

Forest's defence almost floundered as they battled to stop Palace from getting back into the game but when Lee Camp was unable to keep hold of the ball it was cleared by Luke Chambers.

Forest came close to increasing their lead from a free kick when Reid curled the ball in towards the six-yard box where Joel Lynch got a good header in but it went straight at the keeper.

The second goal that Forest had been threatening came when McCleary slipped the ball through to Majewski who curled it powerfully past Speroni and inside the left-hand post, for his second of the afternoon.

The game became a bit bad-tempered after the goal with several players arguing and Adlene Guedioura and McCarthy both going into the book.

Palace tried but failed to get on the scoresheet when they twice sent the ball right through the six-yard box and out the other side.

Forest looked to defend their lead when they brought Scott Wootton on for McCleary.

But Majewski hadn't finished and got his hat-trick within a minute when Chris Gunter squared the ball back for him to curl it inside the far post from ten yards out.

Palace thought they had a quick one back when Zaha sent the ball into the box where substitute Jermaine Easter turned the ball in from a yard out but the offside flag was up.

And Easter came close when he turned and sent the ball towards goal but it shaved the post as it went wide.

A hard-working Blackstock was replaced by Marcus Tudgay with three minutes remaining and a minute later Reid made way for George Elokobi.

Nottingham Forest: Camp, Gunter, Chambers(C), Lynch, Cunningham, McCleary(Wootton 81min, Guedioura, Moussi, Reid(Elokobi 89min), Majewski, Blackstock(Tudgay 87min)
Subs not used: Smith(GK), Higginbotham,
Bookings: Guedioura 75min, Wootton 85min
Scorer: Majewski 53min, 72min, 82min

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Wright(Martin 62min), Parr, McCarthy(C), Dikgacoi, Garvan, Scannell(Williams 62min), Zaha, Murray(Easter 76min), Moxey
Subs not used: Price, Ambrose,
Bookings: Zaha 74min, McCarthy 75min

Referee: Oliver Langford, West Midlands
Attendance: 14,928

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