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Football | English Championship

Billy Sharp © Action Images

Mcleish makes a point as Forest draw



Alex McLeish avoided defeat in his first game as Nottingham Forest manager as Billy Sharp's last-gasp equaliser rescued a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

McLeish was hired by Forest's Kuwaiti owners on Thursday after the Al Hasawi family controversially sacked Sean O'Driscoll on Boxing Day just hours after a 4-2 home win over Leeds.

The former Aston Villa and Birmingham manager was given a good reception prior to kick-off at the City Ground despite claims his reputation for dour football would make him unpopular with Forest fans.

But the McLeish era got off to a poor start as Glenn Murray put Palace in front in the ninth minute

Andy Reid equalised just before halftime, yet it looked as though McLeish would suffer a debut defeat when Murray struck again with nine minutes remaining.

However, former Doncaster striker Sharp grabbed an stoppage-time leveller to salvage a point for the former Scotland coach.

Blackburn, whose Indian owners sacked Henning Berg after just 57 days in charge on Thursday, romped to a 3-1 win at Barnsley thanks to goals from Joshua King, Ruben Rochina and Jordan Rhodes.

There were no goals in the Yorkshire derby between Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday but there was plenty of controversy after referee Mick Russell failed to send off Jeremy Helan after booking the winger twice.

Russell did not realise he had already booked the on-loan Manchester City midfielder and amid furious protestations from Huddersfield players and management, the Herefordshire official allowed Helan to play on.

Rudy Gestede kept Cardiff firmly on course for promotion as his early goal clinched a 1-0 home win against Millwall.

Former Metz forward Gestede struck after just eight minutes when Craig Noone beat Shane Lowry with a mazy run before crossing for the Frenchman who tapped home from six yards.

Malky Mackay's team are five points clear of second placed Hull, who beat Leeds 2-0 at the KC Stadium with second-half goals from Corry Evans and David Meyler.

Middlesbrough remain third after a 4-2 win over Blackpool. Ishmael Miller, Richard Smallwood, Scott McDonald and Adam Reach found the net for Tony Mowbray's side, with Wes Thomas and Chris Basham getting on the scoresheet for the visitors.

Bolton came from behind to beat Birmingham 3-1 at the Reebok Stadium, while Charlton and Derby played out a 1-1 draw at The Valley.

Danny Haynes put the Addicks ahead but Jamie Ward levelled from the penalty spot after Michael Morrison was sent off after picking up a second booking for his foul on Richard Keogh in the box.

David Nugent got the only goal as Leicester won 1-0 at Burnley, while Richard Cresswell and DJ Campbell found the net in Ipswich's 2-0 win at Wolves.

Bristol City claimed a crucial win at the bottom of the table as they saw off fellow strugglers Peterborough 4-2 at Ashton Gate.

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