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Forest 1 Crystal Palace 1: Chris Wood equaliser bags important point

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CHRIS Wood had boss Nuno Espirito Santo punching the air as Nottingham Forest climbed out of the bottom three in their battle to beat the drop.

Wood’s superb back-header earned his side a draw in Forest’s first game since being docked four points for breaching the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.

Chris Wood's strike saved Forest to secure a point against Crystal Palace

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Chris Wood’s strike saved Forest to secure a point against Crystal PalaceCredit: Reuters

It was a decision that left Nuno admitting he ‘punched something’ when he heard the news.

But this will give the Portuguese coach hope that his players can avoid the drop.

Jean Phillipe-Mateta’s 11th minute opener put Palace ahead – and danger man Eberechi Eze could have extended the lead.

But an improved second half display from Forest made sure they climbed over Luton Town after their defeat at Tottenham.

The City Ground fans had a message for their team in their wake of the points penalty;

They unveiled a banner at the Trent End which read: ’We shall fight and we shall overcome’.

For the first half though, it looked like that level of support would be in vain as Nuno’s side struggled to make an impact.

It was clear that Forest recognised Eze as Palace’s danger man as defender Felipe sent him flying after nine minutes.

Forest could not convert their possession into chances

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Forest could not convert their possession into chances
Nuno Espirito Santo's side dominated for large periods

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Nuno Espirito Santo’s side dominated for large periods

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But it would be the second half before the Brazilian was shown a yellow card.

Eze picked himself up and played a part in the game’s opening goal as Palace forward Mateta scored for the fourth time in seven games.

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Jefferson Lerma played a through ball for Eze, and he slid it to Mateta who smashed it into the back of the net from 10 yards.

Four minutes later Eze curled a free kick curled to far post, and Forest keeper Matz Sels had to tip it over the bar.

Forest fans were growing impatient with Palace’s first half time wasting tactics – but Oliver Glasner’s side had a great chance to make it two before the break.                                                                              

Adam Wharton’s pinpoint pass out Eze put clean through on goal, but Sels spotted the danger and made the save.

Wharton fed Eze again six minutes after the break, but this time the Palace forward put his wide of the far post.

But Forest were coming into the game and Callum Hudson-Odoi brought a save out of former City Ground loanee Dean Henderson.

Forest got their reward just after the hour mark though when Wood found the net for the second successive game.

Gibbs-White pumped a ball into the Palace box and Wood cleverly back-headed the ball over the stranded Henderson to level the scores.

That set the City Ground alight again as Forest’s supporters urged their team to find a winner.

But it was Palace who came close to regaining the lead with 20 minutes left as Eze’s shot was kept out by Sels.

Sub Gio Reyna almost found the net with 16 minutes left as his shot was punched out by Henderson.

But Palace almost claimed the points with two minutes left when the ball appeared to come off Neco Williams from a corner and hit the post.

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