Rotherham 0-0 ForestNottingham Forest drew 0-0 with Rotherham at the New York Stadium this afternoon.
Former Forest keeper Lee Camp made a terrific 89th-minute save to deny Ryan Mendes a dramatic winner in front of 2,000 away fans.
The match was an open affair and both sides came close to breaking the deadlock on a number of occasions, but the match was destined for stalemate on a bitterly cold afternoon.
Paul Williams made three changes to the side that faced Brighton on Monday night. Dexter Blackstock, who came off the bench to level the scores against the Seagulls, was handed a start along with midfielders Robert Tesche and Ryan Mendes. Danny Fox was selected at centre back in the continued absence of injured trio Michael Mancienne, Kelvin Wilson and Jack Hobbs.
Jamie Ward also missed out through injury, while Chris Cohen and David Vaughan dropped to a bench which included young defender Joe Worrall, winger Oliver Burke and forwards Chris O'Grady and Federico Macheda.
There was a booking on five minutes when Millers skipper Kirk Broadfoot was penalised for chopping down Osborn on halfway.
Forest had a half-chance seven minutes later when Lansbury threaded the ball through for Mendes, but there was just too much pace on it and Camp gathered just in time.
The first clear-cut opportunity went to the home side on 17 minutes after Tesche fouled Grant Ward in a dangerous position. Former Red Greg Halford delivered a lovely cross but Richard Wood could only head the ball over from six yards.
Shortly afterwards, Joe Mattock's 25-yarder sent the ball looping up off Tesche. Dorus de Vries made an acrobatic save to push it from under his own crossbar.
The Millers had another opportunity on 22 minutes when Ward knocked the ball across goal for another ex-Red Matt Derbyshire, who slid in at the back post but failed to connect.
It was proving to be an open affair and it was Forest's turn to go close after excellent interplay between Blackstock and Mendes. The pair played some sumptuous one-touch football to set the latter up with a shooting opportunity in the area but, stretching slightly, Mendes rolled the ball just wide of the post.
Mendes was drifting in from the right regularly, involving himself in most of Forest's attacking play, but it was from out wide that he created Forest's next chance. The Cape Verdean brought the ball under control brilliantly before drilling it into the middle. Blackstock couldn't quite make contact.
The Reds were enjoying a good spell and came close to a spectacular opener when Gary Gardner shuffled the ball to his right for Tesche 30 yards out. The German had time to consider his options before lashing the ball goalwards, seeing it fly just wide of the post.
Forest were having to be alert in their own penalty area as well, Matt Mills making a crucial clearance from Ward's cross before Mendes curled the ball just wide from the resultant counter-attack.
And the visitors claimed the final chance of the first half when Mendes' attempted cross saw the ball deflect towards Blackstock in the area. Camp was off his line quickly to block the shot and, with Ben Osborn prowling, Rotherham managed to scramble the ball clear.
Osborn and Mendes combined after the break to carve out another chance for The Reds, the latter bursting through the middle and playing a one-two with his team-mate. Camp did well to push Mendes' shot wide.
Mendes was involved yet again moments later as Henri Lansbury broke the offside trap to race on to the winger's through ball, but the former Arsenal man slipped and the chance was gone.
Rotherham were showing endeavour of their own and, shortly after Richie Smallwood had seen two shots blocked by Forest's defence, Derbyshire sent the ball dipping just over the angle of post and crossbar with a shot from range.
Forest's response came from Lansbury, who outmuscled Halford in midfield to leave the Rotherham defence exposed. Lansbury looked tempted to shoot from 20 yards but instead he supplied Mendes to his right and carried his run on into the middle. Mendes drilled the ball low into the area and Lansbury went down under a challenge as he stretched to meet it. Forest's enthusiastic penalty appeals were waved away by the referee.
The match then swung in Rotherham's favour. Smallwood's dinked cross from the byline was met by Wood's powerful header but the ball crashed off the underside of the bar and Fox was able to clear.
And the Millers centre back had another headed chance on 72 minutes when he met a corner from the right six yards out but could only nod the ball into the turf and over the bar.
Rotherham were enjoying a good spell but Forest were remaining resolute, Mills and Fox both making important challenges in their own area to prevent scoring opportunities for the home side.
As the game entered its latter stages it looked like it would peter out without further incident. Rotherham substitute Danny Ward tried to alter that by striking the ball from 25 yards but the ball fizzed wide of the post.
That seemed to spark Forest into life and they had a golden opportunity to take the lead on 89 minutes after Mendes did brilliantly to get round the last man and run through one on one with Camp. The keeper got down low to his left to make an excellent, crucial save.
Four minutes were added on at the end of the match, during which Blackstock, who had been booked after clashing with Halford, was replaced by O'Grady.
And there was time for one last bit of brilliance from Mendes as he showed good feet to get into the area but, crowded out, he could only send the ball wide with the last kick of the game.
Forest: De Vries, Lichaj, Mills, Jokic, Fox, Mendes, Gardner, Tesche, Osborn, Lansbury (c), Blackstock (O'Grady 90')
Subs not used: Evtimov, Worrall, Vaughan, Cohen, Burke, Macheda
Booking: Blackstock 90'
Rotherham: Camp, Kelly, Broadfoot, Wood, Mattock, Halford, G.Ward, Smallwood, Frecklington (Newell 80'), Derbyshire (D.Ward 78') Best
Subs not used: Kenny, Richardson, Green, Thomas, Clarke-Harris
Booking: Broadfoot 6'
Referee: Simon Hooper
Attendance: 11,503 (2,001 away)