Nottingham Forest twice fought back from a losing position to take a 2-2 draw away from Millwall this evening.Andy Reid’s 25-yard strike had cancelled out Steve Morison’s opener from a similar distance but Martyn Woolford’s stinging drive restored The Lions’ lead early in the second half.
Forest responded well to falling behind for a second time and Nathaniel Chalobah’s headed equaliser ensured that The Reds would leave South London with a deserved share of the spoils.
Billy Davies made three changes from the side beaten by Reading on Friday night as the suspended Jamaal Lascelles was replaced by Greg Halford while Jamie Paterson and Radi Majewski made way for Chalobah and Reid, with the Irishman captaining the side.
Young midfielder Ben Osborn was named on the bench alongside his Under 21 coach Jonathan Greening while Guy Moussi was unable to play for the hosts as per the conditions of his loan move to South London.
The first chance of the evening fell to the visitors on six minutes as Henri Lansbury latched onto a through ball from Chalobah. As the Millwall defenders backed off, Lansbury could only blaze well wide of David Forde’s goal from 20 yards out.
Moments later and it was the home side who had the lead. After a poor headed clearance from Eric Lichaj on the edge of the area, former Norwich striker Morison drove home a superb half-volley into the bottom corner of Karl Darlow’s net to spark jubilant scenes around The Den.
Millwall front man Martyn Waghorn, on loan from Leicester, could have doubled the lead midway through the first half. Lee Martin fed the ball into Waghorn’s feet inside the box but, from a tight angle, Darlow made a good save with his legs to deny the striker.
The hosts were firmly on top and Morison was just off target with his next attempt. Chalobah gave possession away cheaply in the middle third but after Morison had raced towards the Forest goal at pace, his shot was scuffed well wide over Darlow’s far post.
Steve Lomas’ side were belying their lowly league position and had claims for a penalty turned down on the half-hour mark. Martin sprinted into the box and fell under Halford’s challenge but despite protestations from the home players and crowd, referee Dean Whitestone awarded just a corner.
And minutes later The Reds were level thanks to Reid’s excellent strike. With Harding and Gonzalo Jara supporting him on the left-hand side, the Forest captain caught his fellow countryman David Forde off-guard in the Millwall goal by firing a low 25-yard effort into the corner of the net.
The game had turned on its head and Jamie Mackie could have put Forest before the interval. The former QPR man exchanged passes with Simon Cox but could only fire over Forde’s crossbar when well placed inside the penalty area.
There were no changes for either side at the break but the home side wrestled back the advantage on 55 minutes. Morison was again the thorn in the Forest side as he flicked the ball on to Woolford and the former Scunthorpe man lashed a right-footed effort past Darlow’s despairing dive to restore the home side's lead.
Woolford’s goal had led to wild celebrations amongst the home support but The Reds punctured the atmosphere with a second equaliser. Reid swung in a pinpoint corner to the edge of the six yard box and Chalobah rose above the Millwall defence to head home past a stranded Forde.
Billy Davies made his first change of the night with quarter of an hour to go as Mackie was replaced by Matt Derbyshire before Djamal Abdoun was sent on in place of Chalobah with seven minutes to play.
There was a late penalty shout for Forest as Derbyshire tumbled inside the box before Liam Feeney lashed a shot wide for the hosts away but both sides were forced to settle for a point after an entertaining encounter at The Den.
Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Halford, Hobbs, Harding, Jara, Lansbury, Chalobah (Abdoun 83'), Reid (c), Cox, Mackie (Derbyshire 76')
Subs: De Vries, Greening, Osborn, Paterson, Majewski
Scorers: Reid 36', Chalobah 65'
Booking: Hobbs 82'
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Robinson (c), Beevers, Malone, Martin (Feeney 75'), Trotter, Abdou, Woolford (McDonald 86'), Waghorn (Keogh 68'), Morison
Subs not used: Bywater, Shittu, Smith, Easter
Scorers: Morison 8' , Woolford 55'
Bookings: Beevers 3', Martin 51'
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Attendance: 9,029 (850 away)