Forest 1-1 BurnleyA last-minute equaliser denied ten-man Nottingham Forest victory over Burnley at The City Ground tonight.
Eric Lichaj had given Forest the lead with his first goal for the club, an excellent finish in the second half, minutes before Henri Lansbury was red carded.
And, in the dying seconds of normal time, a superb strike from Matt Taylor handed Burnley a share of the spoils.
Dougie Freedman made three changes to the side that faced Bristol City on Friday night.
Lichaj returned to the starting line up along with Jamie Ward and Tyler Walker. Danny Fox, Chris Burke and Chris O’Grady dropped to the bench.
Forest started the game brightly but had the post to thank on 11 minutes. Joey Barton's deflected effort saw the ball come back off the woodwork and straight into the path of Andre Gray, who tapped it into the net. Stuart Attwell's assistant ruled the striker offside, however.
Lansbury offered Forest's response with an effort which was diverted over the bar for a corner, before Nelson Oliveira provided Tom Heaton with his first test of the night. The Portuguese forward did well to cut in from the right but he could only direct the ball tamely at Heaton from the edge of the 'D'.
Burnley had a golden chance to take the lead on 19 minutes when Taylor's cross from the right saw the ball drop for Scott Arfield unmarked at the back post. The former Huddersfield man side-footed it across goal and wide of the far post from two yards.
Forest were playing some good football in the opening exchanges but they were struggling to seriously trouble Heaton. Lansbury tried his luck on 22 minutes, opting for placement from 25 yards but directing the ball straight at the keeper.
Oliveira was the first player to enter Attwell's notebook when he hauled back Taylor on 26 minutes. The former West Ham man took the subsequent free-kick himself, curling the ball low around the wall and forcing Dorus de Vries to push it wide.
The game then entered a quiet period before appeals for a Burnley red card rang around The City Ground with six minutes to play in the half. David Vaughan's long ball over the top gave Oliveira something to chase. His pressure on Michael Keane forced the defender into a handball just when it looked like he was going to go through one-on-one with Heaton. Another defender was nearby, however, and Attwell deemed a booking sufficient punishment for Keane.
Forest had their tails up, and Ward nearly presented Oliveira with a great chance to open the scoring on 42 minutes. The former Derby man brought the ball through midfield and to the edge of the area before trying to pick out the unmarked forward. A Burnley defender managed to make a key interception.
It was the visitors who claimed the final chance of the half when Sam Vokes drifted into space in the area to meet a cross from the right. He got his header all wrong, however, and sent the ball well wide.
There were no changes for either side at the break and Burnley had the first chance of the second half after a good counter attack. They worked the ball to Gray on the edge of the area but, having to turn quickly to get his shot away, he blazed it over the bar.
Onlookers had to wait until the 68th minute for the next chance of note, and it fell for Forest after good work by Mendes down the left. He worked the ball to Oliveira who did well to get a shot away from 22 yards. The ball flashed just wide of the post.
Freedman made his first change a minute later, sending on Blackstock in place of Walker, and the front man almost played a huge role in helping his side take the lead within three minutes of being on the field. Ward's cross from the right picked Blackstock out at the back post and he nodded the ball down for Mendes in the area. The Cape Verdean struck his half-volley sweetly, but straight at Heaton.
But Forest kept the move alive and broke the deadlock through an unusual source. Lichaj, on his weaker left foot, swept the ball into the bottom far corner from just outside the area to put The Reds 1-0 up with 17 minutes to play.
The Reds' hopes of hanging on to victory were soon dealt a blow, however, when Lansbury was given a straight red card after colliding with Ben Mee in midfield.
That forced Freedman into a reshuffle as he sent Chris O'Grady and young midfielder Jorge Grant on in place of Ward and Oliveira.
But, inevitably, Burnley were ramping up the pressure. With two minutes to play they worked the ball to Gray in the right-hand section of the area, eight yards out. He stroked it across goal and just wide of the far post.
That was to only be a temporary reprieve for Forest, however, as in the 90th minute Taylor struck the ball sweetly from the edge of the area into the top corner of the net.
Five minutes of added time gave the visitors extra impetus, with a win now in their sights.
But Forest saw the rest of the match out to secure a point.
Forest: De Vries, Lichaj, Wilson, Lansbury (c), Mendes, Oliveira (Grant 77'), Ward (O'Grady 81'), Vaughan, Hobbs, Pinillos, Walker (Blackstock 70')
Subs not used: Evtimov, Fox, Williams, C.Burke
Goal: Lichaj 73'
Bookings: Oliveira 26', Ward 74', Mendes 90'
Sent off: Lansbury 75'
: Heaton (c), Darikwa (BurnleyLowton 84'), Duff, Keane, Mee, Taylor, Jones (Kightly 84'), Barton, Arfield, Vokes, Gray (Hennings 88')
Subs not used: Gilks, Ward, Long, Ulvestad
Goal: Taylor 90'
Bookings: Keane 39', Mee 86'
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Attendance: 17,721 (862 away)