Brentford 2-2 Forest
Tyler Walker scored his first senior goal as Nottingham Forest were pegged back late on in a 2-2 draw at Brentford this afternoon.
The youngster scored a superb opener after replacing Chuba Akpom in the first half before making way for Todd Kane later in the match.
And it was Kane who rounded off an excellent counter attack to double The Reds’ lead.
Brentford refused to give up, however, and Andre Gray set up a nervy finale by scoring with nine minutes to play.
And in the final seconds of added time, Jota stooped low to score the latest of equalisers.
Dougie Freedman made three changes to the side that faced Wolves on Good Friday.
Jack Hobbs was handed his first start since injuring himself in the 4-4 draw at Blackpool in mid-February. Jamaal Lascelles dropped to the bench alongside Ben Osborn, who made way for David Vaughan.
Gary Gardner, serving a two-match suspension after picking up his tenth booking of the season against Wolves, was replaced by Danny Fox.
The changes led to a reshuffle, Eric Lichaj replacing Michael Mancienne at right back and the former Hamburg man taking up a central midfield role.
Forest started the match brightly and had the first shot of the day when Henri Lansbury curled the ball all the way across goal and wide of the far post from a free-kick near the corner of Brentford’s area.
Five minutes later, Michail Antonio latched on to a long free-kick from Kelvin Wilson. His chest control was a little heavy, taking him across goal inside the area, and a Brentford defender got across to block the shot.
Brentford threatened for the first time on 14 minutes, playing some neat football and working space for full back Jake Bidwell to cross the ball unmarked from the left. He picked out Gray, who headed the ball against Wilson before seeing his shot blocked by Vaughan on the follow-up.
It had been a quiet opening 20 minutes for both goalkeepers, but it was Bees keeper David Button who was tested first when Henri Lansbury picked out Jack Hobbs at the back post after Chris Burke did well to win a free-kick parallel with the edge of Brentford’s box. Hobbs headed the ball into the ground and Button had to readjust quickly to make the save.
It was Darlow’s turn minutes later as he scrambled to his right to turn Stuart Dallas’ shot behind after being found by Alan Judge with a cross from the right. The hosts took the subsequent corner short and Lansbury had to be out quickly to block Judge’s shot from the edge of the area.
Brentford were now intensifying their search for the opening goal and on 35 minutes Darlow had to make a strong save at his near post to deny Gray after strong set-up play by the pacy Moses Odubajo.
Both Bidwell and Judge then sent the ball just wide with strikes from outside the area before Forest were forced into a change.
Akpom, making his second Forest appearance after joining on loan from Arsenal, was deemed unfit to continue after receiving treatment and was replaced by Tyler Walker.
And the youngster had a good chance to put his side ahead shortly before the break. Antonio did well to control Vaughan’s long ball before twisting and turning away from his marker in the area. He rolled the ball across goal towards the unmarked Walker but he failed to make contact with it and the danger was gone.
The home side will have been relieved to head into the break level, and they were on the front foot as the second half began. Odubajo was felled by Hobbs on the edge of the ‘D’ but Jota couldn’t beat the wall with the free-kick.
But, if Walker was still pondering his earlier missed opportunity, all was forgotten on 61 minutes. He did brilliantly to control a long ball forward on the edge of Brentford’s area, leave his defender on the floor and smash the ball left-footed past Button at his near post.
It was nearly 2-0 moments later. Walker was involved again, winning a free-kick near the centre circle. The Reds took it quickly, releasing Vaughan into the left-hand channel. He struck the ball across goal but no-one was on hand to turn it home.
Brentford began their quest for an equaliser immediately and came close when Alex Pritchard curled the ball just wide from the edge of the area.
But Forest worked another opening shortly afterwards, Antonio getting away from Odubajo near the left corner flag and pulling the ball back for Ben Osborn, on for Burke, in the area. His shot, as well as Walker’s on the follow-up, was blocked.
A flurry of Brentford chances followed, Gray firing the ball low and straight at Darlow and Wilson making an excellent block from Jota in the area. Minutes later, the Spaniard forced Darlow into a strong save.
Freedman opted to replace Walker with Todd Kane on 74 minutes and it transpired to be an inspired switch as, shortly after Pritchard saw his shot well saved by Darlow, Kane doubled the lead on the break.
Osborn was released down the left. He played a superb low cross to the back post where Kane had positioned himself perfectly to smash the ball home from close range.
But the Bees were back in it with nine minutes to play when Gray’s shot from the edge of the area appeared to take a nick off Wilson on its way past Darlow and into the net.
It was becoming a busy afternoon for the Forest keeper, who produced an excellent save when Jota flicked the ball goalwards from a corner with three minutes to go.
Four minutes were added on at the end of the match and, in the dying seconds, Tommy Smith saw his header diverted over the crossbar.
But there was still time for the resultant corner to be played and for Jota to make himself the hero by stooping at the back post to head the ball home and earn the Bees an unlikely point.