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Sky Bet Championship

The City Ground (ATT 23,703) 29th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Haywood

N Forest Nottingham Forest vs Crystal Palace C Palace

N Forest 2

A Reid (45+1)
B Sharp (90+3)

ft

C Palace 2

G Murray (9, 81)

Alex McLeish's first game in charge of Nottingham Forest ended in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace

Last Updated: 29/12/12 5:58pm

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Billy Sharp: Scores the equaliser

Billy Sharp: Scores the equaliser

Alex McLeish's first game in charge of Nottingham Forest ended in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace as Billy Sharp equalised in stoppage time.

McLeish, appointed on Thursday after the Al Hasawi family dispensed of Sean O'Driscoll's services on Boxing Day just hours after the 4-2 home win over Leeds, received a good reception prior to kick-off at the City Ground.

Andy Reid scored Forest's first goal of the McLeish era, equalising in first-half injury time after Glenn Murray had put Palace in front in the ninth minute.

It looked like there was to be no fairytale beginning for the Scot when Murray struck again with nine minutes remaining, but Sharp grabbed an injury-time leveller.

Dexter Blackstock headed an early chance wide for Forest before Murray opened the scoring.

Dean Moxey got to the byline, his low cross evaded everyone and Murray bundled the ball home at the far post.

Julian Speroni preserved Palace's lead in the 15th minute, sprawling to his right to tip Radoslaw Majewski's shot wide.

When Speroni was beaten by Sharp's diving header just before the half-hour mark, the post came to Palace's aid.

Forest were enjoying some good pressure and finally got themselves level at the end of the first half with a superb 25-yard shot from Reid that flew across Speroni and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Wilfried Zaha came close to putting Palace back in front at the start of the second half but his shot fizzed across goal and narrowly missed the far post.

At the other end, Speroni continued his good afternoon with another fine save to keep out Chris Cohen at the near post.

The Argentinian was at it again midway through the second half, this time pushing away Danny Collins' header.

Murray got his second goal of the game with a superb 81st-minute header.

Yannick Bolasie's far-post cross looked to have evaded Murray, but the striker somehow generated enough power to loop the ball back across goal, over goalkeeper Lee Camp and into the back of the net.

It looked like giving Holloway's team their first win in five npower Championship matches but there was time for more late drama.

Speroni produced a superb save from Blackstock's header to tip the ball onto the post, but Sharp was on hand at close range and had the simplest of finishes to earn Forest a point.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Watford 12 24
2 Derby County 12 23
3 Middlesbrough 12 23
4 Norwich City 12 21
5 Nottingham Forest 12 21
6 Ipswich Town 12 20
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 20
8 Charlton Athletic 12 19
9 Bournemouth 12 18
10 Brentford 12 18
11 Sheffield Wednesday 12 17
12 Cardiff City 12 16
13 Blackburn Rovers 12 16
14 Leeds United 12 15
15 Rotherham United 12 15
16 Reading 12 15
17 Huddersfield Town 12 15
18 Millwall 12 13
19 Wigan Athletic 12 11
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 12 11
21 Birmingham City 12 11
22 Fulham 12 10
23 Bolton Wanderers 12 8
24 Blackpool 12 6