Palace 1 - 0 Nottm Forest
Sat Dec 13 2003 - League
An early Andy Johnson goal secured three points for the Eagles with a 1-0 win against Nottingham Forest at Selhurst Park.
Ground: Selhurst Park (Attendance: 16935)
Palace: Myhre, Smith (Symons, 88), Popovic, Edwards, Borrowdale, Butterfield, Riihilahti, Hughes, Gray, Johnson (Freedman, 72), Routledge
Subs not used: Berthelin, Watson, Black
Goal: Johnson 12
Nottm Forest: Ward, Thompson, Walker, Morgan (sent off 71), Robertson (Doig, 25), Sonner (Westcarr, 81), Bopp, Williams, Reid, King, Jess (Gunnarsson, 72)
Subs not used: Roche, Gardner
Referee: A R Hall (Birmingham)
made a number of changes to the line-up that lost to Crewe in midweek.
Johnson was selected alongside Wayne Routledge
in attack, with Dougie Freedman
dropping to the bench.
made a surprise return to the Palace 11 after being recalled from lhis loan period at Cardiff.
replaced Curtis Fleming
in the defence and Tony Popovic
also made a return to the side after suspension.
Gray was subjected to a chorus of boos when he was announced at the beginning of the match but soon won over the Selhurst faithful with a great performance.
As early as the seventh minute, he curled an effort from 16 yards, which cannoned of the crossbar.
Five minutes later, Palace took the lead. Michael Hughes
collected the ball in the middle of the park and ran 50 yards before passing it to Johnson who made no mistake from close range.
After 23 minutes, Palace almost had a second goal. Routledge picked the ball up after a Forest corner and fed the ball to Johnson who shot just inside the area but the shot was blocked by Des Walker.
In injury time in the first half, Gray had a great freekick which he struck from 20 yards out, but it was saved brilliantly by Darren Ward
in the Forest goal.
Forest came out in the second half with all guns blazing, and Palace had to work hard to keep them at bay.
Wes Morgan was sent off in the second half for two bookable offences, which made Palace's task an easier one.
Forest failed to find an equalising goal and the game ended with a much-needed win for the Eagles as they move out of the bottom three.
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