Ten-man Nottingham Forest progressed to the second round of the Carabao Cup this evening thanks to a thrilling 10-9 penalty shoot-out victory after Matty Cash rescued a 1-1 draw with a last-minute minute equaliser.
Aitor Karanka made 11 changes to the side that beat Reading 1-0 at the weekend and his second-string soon found themselves behind as Bury took the lead in the second minute. A free kick was floated in from the left and Eoghan O’Connell was able to head past Jordan Smith with too much ease.
Forest’s best early chances both went to Matty Cash after great work by Diogo Goncalves. Firstly, Goncalves went on a mazy run before teeing up Cash who saw his shot blocked and then, in the 26th minute, Goncalves sent a searching ball to the back post but Cash sent his free header wide of the post.
Bury reminded Forest that they still posed a threat in the 20th minute as Dominic Telford saw a shot blocked in one of the visitors’ rare ventures into the Forest half.
Forest suffered a blow in the 33rd minute as they were reduced to ten men. Goalkeeper Jordan Smith was given his marching orders for a foul on Telford just outside the area.
Just before half time, Bury almost created a chance to score their second as they looked to break two-on-one but Telford was unable to pick out Dawson who was charging free through the middle.
In the 68th minute, Forest had their first clear cut chance of the half as Daryl Murphy got on the end of a looping ball in the Bury area but headed comfortably over the bar.
Bury were piling on the pressure with 20 minutes to go. Tom Miller wasted a free header at the far post before Luke Steele had to punch the ball off the head of a lurking Bury attacker.
The visitors then worked another opening as Callum McFadzean fizzed a shot just wide of the upright from outside the area.
Joe Lolley was introduced to try and inspire a Forest comeback and he nearly tested Bury ‘keeper Joe Murphy but his shot from 20 yards lacked the power.
Rather than try to hold their advantage, Bury continued to search for a second. Harry Bunn saw a shot blocked before Miller curled an optimistic effort over.
Forest registered their first shot on target in the 88th minute. Lolley was fouled for a Forest free kick and Ben Osborn’s rasping shot was brilliantly parried away by Murphy.
The Forest pressure continued late on and deep into stoppage time, it paid off. A corner by Matty Cash wasn’t properly cleared and it eventually came back for him to drill a shot past Murphy.
It almost got even better for Forest as Michael Hefele struck the post with a very, late header but in the end, the game went to penalties.
The spot kicks were utterly enthralling with Forest progressing after Eoghan O’Connell missed his second penalty with Matty Cash and Tom Miller both previously failing to convert.
FOREST XI (4-2-3-1): Smith (GK); Byram, Hefele, Dawson, Robinson; Watson ©, Yates (Osborn 45’); Soudani (Steele 34’), Goncalves (Lolley 73’), Cash; Murphy
SUBS NOT USED: Figueiredo, Colback, Grabban, Darikwa
BURY XI: Murphy (GK), Miller, Watson, Aimson, Thompson ©, O’Connell, Dawson, Styles (Moore 81’), Telford (Bunn 64’), McFadzean (Stokes 75’), O’Shea, Omotayo
SUBS NOT USED: Hudson (GK), Adams, Shotton, Nyaupembe
REFEREE: Scott Duncan
ATTENDANCE: 8172 (327 away)
FOREST MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Sam Byram