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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 01:13 GMT
Nottm Forest 2-1 C Palace


A stunning second-half strike from Marlon Harewood helped Nottingham Forest secure a key win over fellow play-off hopefuls Crystal Palace.

Harewood's marvellous flick and turn of speed left Tony Popovic and then Kit Symons in his wake before slamming home a rising shot from an acute angle.

The goal added to Michael Dawson's first-half strike, with Palace setting up a thrilling finale through an Andrew Johnson penalty.

Forest took just four minutes to open the scoring as defender John Thompson flicked the ball up from a near-post corner and Dawson rifled low into the net from near the penalty spot.

Costly miss

Forest almost doubled their lead in bizarre fashion when Palace defender Darren Powell sliced the ball over his own bar.

At the other end Tony Popvoc nodded back Danny Butterfield's free-kick for Shaun Derry to see his diving header tipped on to the bar by Forest goalkeeper Darren Ward.

Dele Adebola came close to pulling Palace back into the game when he finished a lung-busting 60-yard dash to fire wide under pressure from Mathieu Louis-Jean.

It was a costly miss as Harewood turned in his show-stopping party piece.

Palace's reaction threw caution to the wind and the gamble looked to be paying off as Dawson felled the on-rushing Johnson.

The Eagles striker picked himself up to bury the penalty but despite taking the game to Forest in the closing stages, there was to be no Palace leveller.


Nottingham Forest: Ward, Louis-Jean, Dawson, Hjelde, Brennan, Thompson, Scimeca, Williams, Reid, Johnson, Harewood. Subs: Jess, Roche, Doig, Westcarr, Bopp.

Crystal Palace: Berthelin, Powell, Symons, Popovic, Butterfield, Mullins, Derry, Gray, Adebola, Freedman, Johnson. Subs: Kolinko, Akinbiyi, Black, Granville, Thomson.

Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire)


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