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Charlton 1-1 Forest

2 January 2016

Chris Cohen returned to action as Nottingham Forest made it eight games unbeaten with a 1-1 draw at Charlton this afternoon.

Ben Osborn gave Forest a first-half lead with a superb finish but Charlton's Simon Makienok levelled the scores after the break.

Second-half injury time proved a frantic affair, Nelson Oliveira squandering a golden opportunity to win it before a stunning save from Dorus de Vries denied Charlton, who had seen Tareiq Holmes Dennis red-carded with 15 minutes to play, an unlikely winner.

Cohen came on as a late substitute to bring his lengthy lay-off to an end.

Dougie Freedman made six changes to the team that drew at Cardiff earlier this week as he opted for a 4-4-1-1 formation. Ryan Mendes was given a start in support of lone front man Oliveira, while Henri Lansbury, David Vaughan, Chris Burke and Osborn also came into the side.

Cohen took his place on the bench alongside Jamie Ward, Dexter Blackstock, Chris O'Grady, Robert Tesche and Oliver Burke.

It was a quiet start to the match, largely dominated by Forest until Charlton came within inches of taking a 26th-minute lead when Callum Harriott sent the ball skipping just wide of the post with a heavily deflected strike. The resultant corner saw Oliveira inadvertently nod the ball back into the danger area but Makienok misjudged his lunge and was unable to capitalise from six yards.

Forest were having the best of the play, however, and their dominance grew as the first half wore on. Moments after Oliveira had failed to latch on to an excellent Mendes cross, the pair exchanged neat passes and advanced into dangerous territory. Oliveira's cut back was just behind the unmarked Mendes, who had to turn his back to goal to gain control. That allowed the Charlton defence a couple of crucial seconds to block the winger's shot.

Two minutes later, Lansbury's incisive pass sent Burke towards the byline. The Scotsman stroked the ball across the face of goal but no-one was on hand to turn it home.

Another chance went begging shortly afterwards from an ingenious Forest corner. Mendes offered Lansbury the short option, dragging a Charlton marker with him before bursting away into the space behind. Lansbury rolled the ball to him and, after entering the box, Mendes blasted it across goal, through everyone, and out for a throw-in.

It would have been a frustrated Forest dressing room had Freedman's men not gone into the break ahead - and Osborn was on hand to give his side the lead they deserved with a minute of normal time remaining. Mendes offloaded the ball to the Reds academy graduate, who took it on his weaker right foot and curled it beautifully into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Forest came out for the second half unchanged, while Addicks boss Karel Fraeye opted to send on Johann Berg Gudmundsson in place of El-Hadji Ba. The substitute forced Jack Hobbs into an important block within three minutes of the restart, winning a corner which Forest managed to deal with.

Charlton appeared rejuvenated, with Harriott continuing to look their biggest threat. On 55 minutes, the winger rode several challenges, doing well to stay on his feet, before curling the ball across goal and just wide from 20 yards.

The home side only had to wait another three minutes for their next chance when a looping header into the box saw the ball drop behind Hobbs and Matt Mills. Makienok got there first and, stretching, the giant front man managed to send the ball goalwards with the tip of his toe. Had he directed it towards either corner de Vries would have been stranded but it was straight at the keeper who managed to push it wide.

Forest were struggling to regain control of the match but Mendes' endeavour almost worked his side a second goal. The winger capitalised on some sloppy defending and almost snuck past Harry Lennon to go through one on one with Charlton keeper Stephen Henderson. Lennon recovered superbly to slide in and nick the ball away.

That was to be Mendes' last action as he was replaced by Tesche on the hour. In Mendes' absence, Lansbury took responsibility for providing some wing-wizardry. He skipped away from a challenge down the right and cut the ball back for Burke, who couldn't adjust his feet in time and got his shot all wrong.

Oliveira was the next man to have a go, taking control of the ball on the edge of Charlton's area. Isolated and knowing he had to go it alone, the forward twisted and turned before firing a tame left-footed effort at goal. Henderson made no mistake and within a minute, the keeper's side were level.

Harriott's precise, low cross left Forest's defence stranded and Makienok slid in to divert the ball into the bottom corner.

Freedman's next change saw Blackstock replace Burke, and three minutes later the visitors were handed a boost in their search for a winner.

Five minutes after going into the book for bringing down Osborn, Holmes-Dennis, on for Johnnie Jackson, received his second yellow card for tugging back the same player and was dismissed.

The onus was now all on Forest, who had an excellent chance to take the lead after robbing Makienok of possession on the edge of the Charlton area. Tesche cut the ball back into the middle, where Oliveira saw his shot blocked. The ball came to Lansbury on his left foot but he didn't strike it cleanly, sending it harmlessly wide.

Lansbury had another chance on 85 minutes when Tesche won a free-kick in a dangerous position. The Forest captain could only strike the ball straight into the wall.

There were huge cheers from the away end shortly afterwards as Cohen came on to replace Hobbs. Mancienne shifted to centre back, with Cohen replacing him at left back.

Time was running out for Forest, who were left to rue Henderson's handling when he hung on to Oliveira's sweetly struck effort before four minutes were added at the end of the 90.

Oliveira had missed a golden opportunity in stoppage time at the Cardiff City Stadium - and he was to do so again this time around. He did brilliantly to outmuscle Naby Sarr in the area but didn't get his shot away early enough, allowing Charlton's defenders to make an imperative block.

And the home side came so close to winning the match at the death. Harriott was heavily involved once again, first bursting into the area and seeing his strike tipped over the bar by de Vries, then picking the ball up 25 yards out from the half-cleared corner. He steadied himself before striking it powerfully towards goal. De Vries made an exceptional one-handed save to preserve a point for Forest.

Forest: De Vries, Lichaj, Mills, Hobbs (Cohen 86'), Mancienne, Lansbury, Vaughan, Mendes (Tesche 61'), C. Burke (Blackstock 73'), Osborn, Oliveira

Subs not used: Evtimov, Ward, O.Burke, O'Grady

Goal: Osborn 44'

Booking: Vaughan 87'

CharltonHenderson, Solly, Sarr, Lennon, Fox, Ba (Gudmundsson 46'), Jackson (Holmes-Dennis 65'), Cousins, Harriott Vaz Te (Williams, 79'), Makienok

Subs not used: Pope, Moussa, Ceballos, Ghoochannejhad 

Goal: Makienok 70'

Booking: Holmes-Dennis 70'

Sent off: Holmes-Dennis 76'

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 16,090 (2,562 away)

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