Nottingham Forest recorded a second successive 1-1 draw after West Bromwich Albion left the City Ground with a share of the points this evening following an action-packed encounter.
Adlene Guediora fired the Trees ahead in the 59th minute, beating Baggies ‘keeper Sam Johnstone with a drilled strike from 25 yards and it looked like that may be the match winner but three minutes from time, Matt Phillips fired a terrific effort into the top corner to draw the visitor’s level.
After Saturday’s opening day stalemate at Bristol City, Forest manager Aitor Karanka shuffled his pack, making four changes to keep up with the busy August schedule. Tobias Pereira Figueiredo, Jack Colback, Joe Lolly and Lewis Grabban were all introduced in the place of Michael Dawson, Ben Watson, Diogo Goncalves and Daryl Murphy who all dropped to the bench.
Forest enjoyed the better of the proceedings in the first half and had chances to go ahead. In the 22nd minute, Gil Dias chipped a delightful ball over the West Brom defence for Lewis Grabban but the former Bournemouth man was unable to keep his half-volley on target, skewing the shot wide.
Grabban was involved again in the 38th minute as he latched onto a misplaced pass to go clear. The Forest man attempted to round Sam Johnstone and get a shot away but in the end, he was forced to cross for Joe Lolley who miskicked an effort off target.
In the second half, the action intensified and both teams will feel like they could have scored more.
Forest continued to have the better chances with Lolley firing over seven minutes after the restart and just before the hour mark, the home side took the lead. Adlene Guediora was given time to line up a shot and his powerful effort had too much power for Johnstone, seemingly taking a deflection off the foot of a West Brom defender before nestling into the bottom corner.
With ten minutes to go, the Algerian midfielder almost scored his and his side’s second in stunning fashion. Spotting Johnstone off his line, Guediora launched an effort from inside his own half towards goal with Johnstone having to scamper back to get a finger tip on the ball and tip it wide of the target.
Following that let off, West Brom started to grow more and more into the game, dominating the possession. They came agonisingly close to equalising in the 83rd minute as Dwight Gayle, on-loan from Newcastle, found space inside the area and struck the foot of the post with a low effort across goal.
Darren Moore’s side continued to apply pressure and their equaliser finally arrived in the 87th minute. Good inter-play by the Baggies on the edge of the box ended with a cross from the left finding Matt Phillips inside the area and he effortlessly walked onto the bouncing ball to dispatch an unstoppable effort into the top corner.
Nottingham Forest XI: Pantilimon (GK), Darikwa, Figueiredo, Fox, Osborn, Guedioura, Colback, Dias (Goncalves 78’), Carvalho (Soudani 84’), Lolley, Grabban
Subs Not Used: Smith (GK), Watson, Murphy, Robinson, Dawson
West Brom XI: Johnstone (GK), Adarabioyo, Bartley, Hegazi, Gibbs, Phillips, Livermore, Brunt, Barnes, Morrison (Gayle 61’), Rodriguez (Robson-Kanu 90’)
Subs Not Used: Myhill (GK), Townsend, Burke, Barry, Harper
Referee: Darren England