League leaders Burnley withstood some late Forest pressure to take a 1-1 draw from The City Ground this afternoon.The visitors had taken the lead through a controversial Sam Vokes penalty before Simon Cox levelled with his second goal in as many games just before the break.
And despite dominating the match the hosts couldn’t find a winner.
Reds manager Billy Davies was forced to make two changes from the side that won at Leicester before the international break. Midfield pair David Vaughan and Andy Reid were injured on duty for Wales and Republic of Ireland respectively and were replaced in the starting line-up by Radoslaw Majewski and Eric Lichaj.
Lichaj, who won his first USA cap for two years last week, slotted in at right back as the Chilean Gonzalo Jara, who played against England and Brazil during the break, shifted into midfield.
Jack Hobbs was deemed fit enough to start after suffering from a virus but Greg Halford, Kelvin Wilson and Danny Collins all missed out.
Forest claimed the first shot at goal on two minutes. Majewski didn’t catch his left-footed effort cleanly and it bobbled into the clutches of Tom Heaton from 22 yards.
There was nothing the keeper could do from Henri Lansbury’s free-kick ten minutes later, however. The former Arsenal man, who had earlier been harshly booked for a challenge on Michael Kightly, crashed a free-kick off Heaton’s crossbar. Majewski’s header on the follow up was blocked before the Pole poked wide under pressure.
And Lansbury threatened again five minutes later. He drove at the Clarets defence and saw his shot blocked by a defender. It squirmed out to Paterson on the left who directed a cross towards Simon Cox in the middle. It was just too high for the striker, who could only send his header high and wide.
Keen to build on his goal at The King Power Stadium a fortnight ago, Cox had another go shortly afterwards. His curling effort from 25 yards had Heaton sprawling to his left and Paterson couldn’t take advantage after claiming the rebound.
Forest had been by far the better side but on 27 minutes they were left fuming after referee Carl Boyeson awarded the visitors a penalty.
Gonzalo Jara had slid to block Kieran Trippier’s cross from the right and the ball appeared to strike his flailing arm. Mr Boyeson pointed to the spot and, after furious Red remonstrations, Vokes dispatched the penalty. Karl Darlow went the correct way but the Welshman picked out the bottom left-hand corner perfectly.
The anger was palpable around The City Ground as play resumed, but those of a Forest persuasion were given the perfect pick-me-up four minutes before the break.
Paterson did well to dig out a cross in the area. It floated high over Heaton and Cox was waiting at the back post, where he bundled home on the line to give the home side a deserved equaliser.
Forest made one change at the break as Nathaniel Chalobah replaced Lichaj, and the Chelsea loanee was immediately involved.
Cohen and Hobbs appeared to have temporarily nullified the threat of Danny Ings after the prolific front man embarked on a run down the right, but the pair allowed the former Bournemouth man to get away. Ings pulled it back from the byline and Chalobah did brilliantly to block Scott Arfield’s effort.
Forest responded minutes later when Majewski stood up a cross from the right. Jamaal Lascelles had to backpedal to make contact and he was unfortunate to see his header drop just wide of Heaton’s post.
Both keepers were having a fairly quiet afternoon but Heaton’s hands were warmed on 53 minutes as Majewski spun in the area before shooting straight at the former Manchester United stopper.
The Reds were in the ascendancy and created another half-chance on 68 minutes. Jara dinked the ball across to Paterson who appeared to attempt to guide it back across goal, only to send it straight at the keeper.
Majewski made way for Djamal Abdoun shortly afterwards, before Darius Henderson replaced Paterson with a quarter of an hour to go.
Forest continued to dominate and were denied an emphatic goal by Mackie by an important block in the area. Cohen had raced down the left and managed to keep his balance long enough to slide the ball to his right. Mackie had made a lung-bursting run to meet it before striking with venom, only to see it blocked by Shackell.
Burnley reminded the hosts of their own threat minutes later as Arfield shaped a 25-yarder towards goal. Darlow dived to his right to deny him.
But The Reds offered a response of their own with seven minutes to go. Shortly after Burnley had scrambled away a low Abdoun cross, Cohen picked out Chalobah in the area. The midfielder’s effort for a moment looked like it was curling in, but it sailed over the bar.
And there was more agony to come. First, Hobbs looked favourite to head home Cohen’s inswinging corner but couldn’t generate enough height to make significant contact. Then Mackie worked his way to the byline and pulled it back for Henderson. The striker flicked it towards goal but Heaton and his defenders somehow kept it out.
That was to be the final chance of a frustrating match for the hosts, who finished the game with ten men after Cohen had picked up an injury. After a tussle with Keith Treacy, the full back tried to continue but soon retreated down the tunnel for further treatment.
Forest: Darlow, Lichaj (Chalobah 46'), Hobbs, Lascelles, Cohen (c), Jara, Lansbury, Majewski (Abdoun 69'), Paterson (Henderson 76'), Cox, Mackie
Subs not used: De Vries, Harding, Tudgay, Derbyshire
Scorer: Cox 41'
Booking: Lansbury 13'
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Mee, Shackell (c), Duff, Arfield, Edgar, Jones, Kightly (Treacy 63'), Vokes, Ings
Subs not used: Cisak, Lafferty, Stanislas, Stock, Long, Noble
Scorer: Vokes 28' (pen)
Booking: Arfield 38'
Referee: Carl Boyeson
Attendance: 22,877 (Away: 1,733)
|Big Match Sponsor||Match Ball Sponsor|