13/12/2003 Crystal Palace
1 - 0

Its not going to be a very merry Christmas on Trentside this year if the current run of poor form continues.

Not only did Forest lose this game 1 0 to a side in the relegation zone, they also lost promising defender Gregor Robertson to what looks like a serious hamstring injury, and Wes Morgan got the first red card of his career for two bookable offences.

It was not a good day at the office by any stretch of the imagination.

Forest started the game positively enough, but they seemed to be missing Gareth Taylor - who was serving a one-match suspension for reaching five yellow cards this season and they created few chances.

The first real chance of the game came on 8 minutes and it fell to Palace. Julian Gray looped the ball over Darren Ward and was unlucky to see it bounce of the crossbar. It fell to Andrew Johnson, but Forest managed to block and clear it eventually.

It was a warning Forest failed to heed as Palace started to pile on the pressure. And it paid off on 12 minutes when Gareth Williams gave the ball away after taking a free-kick to quickly.

Michael Hughes sliced through the Forest defence before hitting a slide-rule pass to Johnson, just outside the six-yard box. He shot across Ward and into the far corner of the net.

Forest had couple of chances including one from an Andy Reid corner on 20 minutes. Marlon King met the ball and nodded it down for Wes Morgan, who failed to connect properly.

Then on 25 minutes things started to go really wrong for Forest as Gregor Robertson had to be replaced after suffering a hamstring injury he was replaced by Chris Doig, making his first league appearance of the season.

Darren Ward managed to keep the score down to 1-0 just before the break. Palace were awarded a free-kick and Ward pulled off a fine save to tip Grays shot over the bar.

Forest started the second half as brightly as the first but they still failed to create any notable chances and slowly but surely Palace gained the upper hand.

On 71 minutes, the game was over for Forest when Wes Morgan received his second yellow card of the game for a late tackle on Johnson.

A couple of tactical substitutions followed, but they did nothing to improve things for Forest.

The loss means Forest drop two more places to 15th in the league, and the fixtures for the next few weeks will bring little cheer. With Gillingham at home next week, followed by Norwich away on Boxing Day and West Ham at the City Ground three days later, its going to be a hard Christmas break.
Forest Man-of-the-Match:


[Click on Player Name to view Player Profile and Statistics]

No. Player Scored Cards
24  ROBERTSON  Substituted    
23  MORGAN       
15  BOPP       
21  SONNER  Substituted    
14  JESS  Substituted    
11  KING       
16  DOIG  Substitute (On for 24 )    
18  GUNNARSSON  Substitute (On for 14 )    
20  WESTCARR  Substitute (On for 21 )    


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