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Mjallby AIF 1-1 Forest

12 July 2015

Second-half substitute Chris Burke scored the equaliser as Nottingham Forest drew 1-1 in a friendly with Swedish side Mjallby AIF.

The Scotsman turned the ball home from close range late in the match to cancel out Mjallby’s tenth-minute opener. 

Dougie Freedman handed a start to trialist Nicky Maynard before sending on trialists Darius Henderson and Paul Taylor in the second half. 

The Reds started the game brightly, captain Henri Lansbury diving to head the ball over the bar before Maynard drilled a low shot straight at the Mjallby keeper. 

But despite their early promise, Forest found themselves 1-0 down on ten minutes after the ball bounced away from Michael Mancienne on the edge of his own area. A Mjallby attacker nicked it away from him and found de Vries’ lower-right corner with his finish. 

The hosts came close to making it 2-0 shortly afterwards with a close-range header, before Michail Antonio cut inside from the left and tested the keeper’s handling. 

Playing as the spearhead of Forest’s attack, Maynard was holding the ball up well and Lansbury nearly benefited as the half neared its conclusion. The former Arsenal midfielder could only blast the ball over the bar after receiving the striker’s lay-off. 

Forest reemerged for the second half unchanged and nearly had the lead through Maynard six minutes after the restart. He controlled a looped ball over the top from Antonio, showed excellent strength to hold off his markers before spinning away from them and into the area. Mjallby’s keeper narrowed the angle at his near post and managed to take the sting out of Maynard’s shot, allowing his defenders to clear. 

A minute later it was Antonio’s turn to have an effort at goal. The winger saw his curled effort from 20 yards pushed away by the keeper. 

Mjallby responded immediately and would have made it 2-0 had it not been for a vital intervention from Mancienne. The defender managed to get his head to a goalbound effort to divert the ball over his own crossbar. 

Six substitutions followed as Freedman gave Henderson and Taylor a chance to impress. They were joined on the field by Burke, Jamie Ward, Jamie Paterson and David Vaughan. Antonio, Lansbury, Maynard, Robert Tesche, Ben Osborn and Tyler Walker were the men to make way. 

With Forest readjusting to their new-look line-up, Dorus de Vries had to produce a superb save with his feet to keep the score at 1-0. 

Another swathe of substitutions followed with Roger Riera, Matt Mills, Stephen McLaughlin and Kelvin Wilson replacing Mancienne, Danny Fox, Jack Hobbs and Eric Lichaj. 

McLaughlin, playing at left back, was involved almost straight away when he took charge of a free-kick 25 yards out. He could only curl the ball straight at Mjallby’s keeper. 

His opposite full back, Riera, was next to drive Forest forward, crossing for Henderson. With the ball slightly behind him, the striker could only nod the ball off-target. 

Forest were well in the ascendancy but time was running out for them to find an equaliser. Paterson drilled the ball just wide of the post from range after good build up involving Taylor. 

But The Reds finally had a deserved breakthrough when Ward flashed the ball across the face of goal for Burke to turn it home at the back post. 

Freedman’s men showed no signs of slowing down after getting back on level terms and with five minutes to play they came within inches of taking the lead. Taylor’s shot from outside the area saw the ball loop up off a Mjallby player’s shoulder towards goal. The keeper did well to get back to his line to tip the ball over but injured himself in the process and had to be substituted. 

There were no further chances for either side and the match ended 1-1.  

FOREST: De Vries, Lichaj, Hobbs, Mancienne, Fox, Tesche, Lansbury, Osborn, Walker, Antonio, Maynard  
Subs used: Ward, Taylor, Burke, Henderson, Paterson, Vaughan, Riera, Mills, McLaughlin, Wilson, Evtimov

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