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Match Reports

Forest 1-1 Burnley

29 July 2017

Nottingham Forest ended their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw against Premier League side Burnley at The City Ground.

Daryl Murphy put Forest into the lead just after the half-hour mark before Andre Gray's second-half equaliser meant The Reds remained unbeaten during pre-season heading into the Championship season next weekend.

The visitors started brightly as they looked to create an early opening. Jordan Smith had to be alert to parry a cross from Stephen Ward with Jon Walters waiting at the back post on two minutes and James Tarkowski almost met a dangerous free kick from Steven Defour on a minute later.

Forest looked good in possession of the ball and were dominating the match as they created their first shooting chance on 14 minutes. Barrie McKay played an incisive ball into the feet of Zach Clough on the edge of the area before his shot blazed over the bar.

Despite all their possession, The Reds required a stunning reflex save by Jordan Smith to keep the scores level on 18 minutes. In a save reminiscent of the one made on the final day of last season, Smith acrobatically tipped the Irish international's header onto the bar from close range after the visitors broke forward quickly.

Forest responded well and took the lead on 33 minutes through Murphy. A great reverse pass by McKay found Ben Osborn in space down the left flank and his drilled low cross was met by Murphy at the near post to turn past Tom Heaton for his first Reds goal.

The former Newcastle man almost doubled the advantage three minutes later as he latched onto a short header from Matt Lowton. Murphy beat Heaton to the ball but was then held up by Tarkowski. Murphy showed great determination to battle for the ball and only a fine point-blank save by Heaton denied the Irishman.

It was a positive first half for Mark Warburton's side but they let the lead slip ten minutes into the second half.

Matt Lowton had found himself in plenty of space on 55 minutes, only for Tendayi Darikwa to clear his lines underneath his own crossbar, and a minute later the Burnley full back produced the goods to set up Gray to equalise. The former Brentford front man arrived right on queue to tap home at the back post from Lowton's low cross after a raking pass from Ashley Barnes.

A string of substitutions took the sting out of the game, with half-time sub Jamie Ward leaving the field on a stretched on the hour mark a particular sour note for The Reds.

Apostolos Vellios looked to add to his pre-season tally following his introduction, but he couldn't keep his header down following a good delivery from the left by Ben Osborn.

The crowd of more than 10,000 appreciated the efforts of Mark Warburton's side in matching, and often looking stronger than, Burnley and there will be plenty of positives to take into Friday night's opening Sky Bet Championship fixture against Millwall.

Forest: Smith, Darikwa, Mancienne (c), Worrall, Traore, Vaughan, Osborn, Clough, Brereton, McKay, Murphy

Subs: Evtimov, Cohen, Ward, Hobbs, Lam, Bouchalakis, Cummings, Vellios

Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Mee, Tarkowski, Ward, Hendrick, Cork, Defour, Gray, Barnes, Walters

Subs: Pope, Taylor, Vokes, Brady, Gudmundsson, Westwood, Bardsley, Long, Agyei, Arfield, Anderson

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Attendance: 10,231 (566 away)


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