Roche saves the day for Forest

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The Independent Football

Substitute keeper Barry Roche saved an injury-time twice-taken penalty to give Forest victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Substitute keeper Barry Roche saved an injury-time twice-taken penalty to give Forest victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The match had everything - six bookings, a red card for Dave Beasant and a mass punch-up followed by a missed penalty in stoppage time.

Forest stormed the Eagles with first-half goals from Andy Johnson, David Platt and an own goal from Hayden Mullins.

Palace recovered after the break with goals from Tommy Black and Fan Zhiyi before Julian Gray had his injury-time penalty saved by Roche.

Forest striker, Stern John, missed a dream chance after five minutes, shooting straight at Stuart Taylor from 10 yards out, but seven minutes later the Palace defence was in chaos dealing with a Chris Bart-Williams' freekick and it wasn't long before Johnson planted a header past Taylor.

Forest doubled their lead on 31 minutes when David Platt struck a half volley past Taylor. Five minutes before the break, Jack Lester was allowed room down the right and his cross dropped to Mullins who crashed his clearance past Taylor's outstretched hand.

After the break, Palace changed their formation to a 4-4-2 and found inspiration. After 51 minutes, they pulled one back courtesy of a low left-foot shot from Black.

It was game on seven minutes from time when the Eagles', Fan Zhiyi, headed home a corner. Zhiyi then had a fierce header saved on the line by Beasant before the veteran keeper left his goal and sent the Palace defender flying with a reckless tackle. Beasant was given his marching orders for the foul and it was left to Roche to enter the fray and face the penalty.

Gray's first penalty was slotted neatly into the corner. But the referee ordered it to be retaken because of encroachment. Gray went for the opposite corner, Roche guessed right and Forest got their three points.

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