McLeish happy with fighting Forest's late point

Nottingham Forest 2 Crystal Palace 2

the city ground

Billy Sharp came up with a late equaliser to ensure that Alex McLeish's Nottingham Forest reign got off to a positive start, and the Scot was heartened by the way his new charges dug in.

McLeish was in the Forest dugout for the first time since getting the job as manager on Thursday, just a day after Sean O'Driscoll was sacked in the wake of a 4-2 win over Leeds.

Forest's fans have hardly been bowled over by the appointment, but McLeish was just happy to get up and running with a point.

"I thought there was a lot of fighting spirit among the players. To their credit they went all the way to the final whistle," he said.

"They could easily have put their heads down after Palace had taken the lead again but they fought right to the death, and that shows great character."

McLeish, back in work following his sacking from Aston Villa in the summer, also thanked the City Ground support for getting behind his players. "They appreciated what the players were doing, and I think the excitement the [team] created gave the fans the impetus to roar us on."

His first game could easily have been ruined by Glenn Murray, who showed the striking qualities that have now taken his tally for the season to 22. He opened the scoring in the ninth minute when he swooped on a brilliant far-post cross by Dean Moxey to bundle the ball home.

But Forest were level on the stroke of half-time when Andy Reid picked up a short pass from Chris Cohen and produced a superb left-footed finish past Julian Speroni from 25 yards.

The game could have gone either way in the second half, but Palace nosed in front for the second time when Yannick Bolasie knocked the ball goalwards and Murray produced a precision, looping header that dipped over Forest's keeper, Lee Camp.

But in the second minute of added time, Sharp rescued Forest. Reid's shot was blocked but Dexter Blackstock nodded the ball forward, and although Sharp hit the post he followed up to score.

"I thought for 75 per cent of the game we were a very good side and the lads are gutted because, like me, they feel we could have won the game," the Crystal Palace manager, Ian Holloway, said.

"Today we got ourselves into a situation to win the match and we've ended up with one point instead of three – and that's frustrating.

"I was very proud of them, their work ethic was excellent and they played some exceptional football – as did Forest – in atrocious conditions."

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Camp; Halford, Ward, Collins, Harding; Cohen (Lansbury, 78), Guedioura (Cox, 85), Majewski (McGugan, 64), Reid; Sharp, Blackstock.

Crystal Palace (4-4-1-1): Speroni; Moxey, Gabbidon, Ramage, Parr; Bolasie (Garvan, 84), Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Zaha (Easter, 71); Murray; Moritz (Williams, 72).

Referee Mark Haywood.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before