Nottingham Forest Under 23s and Queens Park Rangers Under 23s played out a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Harlington Sports Ground this afternoon.
Aaron Smith's free-kick cancelled out a 12th-minute opener from the hosts before Arvin Appiah's goal put The Reds in front, this coming after Smith had missed an earlier penalty.
Charlie Owens failed to convert from 12 yards for the home side but when another spot-kick was awarded, Chay Tilt made no mistake and levelled matters at 2-2.
There was to be another twist in stoppage time as Tilt had a last-minute penalty to win the contest but he was denied by a fine save from Liam Bossin as Gareth Holmes’ side went away with a point.
The Reds went a goal down after just 12 minutes despite a positive start to the contest when Kingsley Eshun put QPR ahead. The visitors failed to deal with a ball in the box leaving Eshun free to score after he was the quickest to react.
Arvin Appiah was looking lively for Forest and he had a penalty shout turned down after weaving his way into the box before being bundled over as Gareth Holmes’ side looked for an equaliser.
QPR were in control however, and they had a number of chances to extend their lead. Niko Hamalainen came closest to doubling The R’s lead when he was found at the back post as he fired an effort goal wards but Anel Ahmedhodzic did well to block the shot.
But Forest were soon level thanks to a stunning Aaron Smith free-kick. The youngster coolly stepped up and curled it into the top left-hand corner to put his side back on level terms. QPR should have re-taken the lead when Charlie Owens raced through on goal but he dragged his effort wide as the two sides went into the break level.
A chaotic second-half would follow with The Reds beginning well and they had a glorious chance to edge in front when they were awarded a penalty after Toby Edser was brought down. Aaron Smith stepped up to take the kick but his penalty was pushed wide leaving the scores level.
Forest continued to push for another goal and it finally came through Arvin Appiah. Aaron Smith’s through ball found Appiah whose curled left-footed effort found the bottom corner, edging his side into a 2-1 lead.
A chaotic few minutes would follow when QPR were gifted the chance to equalise after they were also awarded a spot-kick. Charlie Owens stepped up to take it but lashed it over the bar meaning Forest stayed in-front. But QPR did finally equalise when the referee pointed to the spot again, minutes after their initial miss, with The Reds penalised for handball. This time Chay Tilt took responsibility and converted it to make it 2-2.
Virgil Gomis’s impressive overhead kick effort nearly made it 3-2 to The Reds after Appiah’s inch perfect ball found the striker who could only fire his effort straight at the goalkeeper who parried it away.
Then the drama would continue up right until the last minute when QPR were given yet another penalty by the referee after Caden Genovesi was tripped by Liam Bossin in the area. To win the game, Tilt stepped up to take the kick again but this time Bossin was equal to it, pushing it wide, as the action-packed game finished 2-2.
Forest: Bossin, Ahmedhodzic, Iacovitti, Taylor (Otim 71'), Coveney, Crookes, Appiah, Edser, Gomis, Smith (Preston 87'), Trialist (Johnson 71')
Unused subs: Soloha, En-Neyah
Goals: Smith 38', Appiah 63'
Booking: Edser 89'