BY SAM SMITH
Crystal Palace remain without a win over 90 minutes this pre-season after Albert Adomah’s goal gave Nottingham Forest a 1-0 win over the Eagles on Friday night.
The former Aston Villa winger pounced on a loose ball after 30 minutes to score the only goal of the game for the Championship side.
The hosts were the better side in the first half. Adomah almost teed up Joe Lolley and the latter twice missed the target, the first a long-range effort before the former Huddersfield man headed over.
Palace were still without Wilfried Zaha after the forward was given an extended summer having just returned from the Africa Cup of Nations, and the Eagles seemed disjointed in attack without their star man.
Their best opportunity of the opening 45 minutes fell to the feet of Max Meyer who scuffed his shot wide from close range after being set up by Christian Benteke.
The South Londoners have made a habit of giving away avoidable goals this pre-season and they conceded another of a similar description just after the half-hour mark. Wayne Hennessey flapped at a hopeful forward pass into the box and Adomah – who had been given the freedom of the penalty – stroked home the loose ball.
Roy Hodgson’s side improved in the second half, taking control of the game and starting to create better chances. Benteke could have done better than head straight at Aro Muric from an Andros Townsend cross.
The Forest goalkeeper made an excellent save from Townsend, who had cut inside from the right and tried to bend the ball into the top corner.
Tiago Silva skimmed the post with a free-kick for the Championship outfit, before Palace came close to an equaliser. Scott Dann had an effort cleared off the line after a Benteke knock-down at a corner before James McArthur struck the foot of the post after a mazy run.
But the goal would just not come for Palace. This game will instead be remembered for the fact Hodgson refused to make a substitution which is a rareity for a pre-season fixture.
The Eagles have a first team squad of just 20 players and Hodgson clearly feels he lacks options. Palace have made just one signing this summer – securing goalkeeper Stephen Henderson for free.