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Match Reports

Forest 1-1 West Brom

7 August 2018

An enthralling contest saw Nottingham Forest and West Brom play out a 1-1 draw at The City Ground.

Adlene Guedioura gave Forest a deserved lead in the second half as he fired home from range but a late Matt Phillips strike meant that the shares were spoiled.

It was a great display from Forest as they dominated Albion for large spells of the match but had to settle for a point to take away from the game.

Aitor Karanka made four changes to the side which drew at Bristol City last weekend, with Tobias Figueiredo, Jack Colback, Joe Lolley and Lewis Grabban coming into the side in place of Michael Dawson, Ben Watson, Diogo Goncalves and Daryl Murphy who all dropped to the bench.

The first opening of the game arrived on five minutes for the visitors, as a long free-kick into the Forest box was chested down by Matt Phillips which allowed Jay Rodriguez a strike at goal, but his acrobatic effort cleared the crossbar.

The Reds came out strongly after the opening for The Baggies and two swift moves, both started by long-range Adlene Guedioura passes, saw efforts blocked from Joao Carvalho and Gil Dias as Forest went in search of the opener.

Carvalho again had a sighter of goal on 19 but couldn't keep his 20-yard effort down before some sublime skill from Dias saw him play Grabban in down the right channel and his volley flashed over the bar from a tight angle on 22.

Forest continued to come forward as Grabban saw an effort palmed away by West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone, and then the Forest man had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out as Johnstone was down injured following a clash with Tendayi Darikwa.

The pressure continued as a defensive mix-up on 38 almost gifted Forest a goal. Grabban pounced on a loose ball and rounded Johnstone but the keeper recovered well and eventually Lolley's shot was high and wide, then a minute later Dias couldn't convert Darikwa's low cross and then Lolley curled an effort goalwards which Johnstone punched clear.

But after all the pressure on the Albion goal, the best chance of the half fell to Rodriguez in added on time. Phillips played a low ball across the face of goal, Rodriguez got in front of his man but could only volley over from inside the six-yard box as the two sides went in goalless at the break.

It was much of the same at the start of the second half as Guedioura was at the heart of things for The Reds again. His pass found Grabban but a superb tackle from Kyle Bartley denied the Forest man getting a shot away and on 59 minutes the Algerian broke the deadlock.

Around 25 yards from goal, Guedioura shifted the ball to his right to find some space and let fly with a low drive which took a slight deflection and fizzed past Johnstone and into the bottom corner to give The Reds a deserved lead.

Albion went in search of an equaliser but The Reds defence stood firm, keeping them at arm's length and looking threatening on the counter attack.

On 80 minutes there was almost an unbelievable goal by Guedioura as he led the charge on a swift breakaway following a West Brom corner. As he entered the centre circle, he hit an outrageous long-range shot which had everyone in the stadium holding their breath as Johnstone got a fingertip to the ball to tip it around the post.

West Brom debutant Dwight Gayle came off the bench and came within inches of finding an equaliser as his shot hit the base of the post on 83. From that chance Forest broke away down the other end and Lolley's pass was just a yard behind Grabban as the forward waited to convert in front of goal.

The enthralling end to the game saw Albion level with just three minutes remaining as Phillips lashed a cross home at the back post into the roof of the net, and a minute later his looping cross sailed over Costel Pantilmon and off the post, and the second ball was fired against the crossbar from point-blank range by Gayle.

The drama didn't end there however, as Lolley's effort looked destined for the far corner until a deflection diverted it wide and Grabban's header from the following corner was hooked off the line as the game ended in a stalemate.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Figueiredo, Fox (c), Osborn, Guedioura, Colback, Dias (Goncalves 78'), Carvalho (Soudani 85'), Lolley, Grabban

Unused subs: Smith, Watson, Murphy, Robinson, Dawson

Bookings: Colback 54', Guedioura 90'

Goal: Guedioura 59'

West Brom: Johnstone, Adarabioyo, Bartley, Hegazi, Gibbs, Phillips, Livermore, Morrison (Gayle 61'), Brunt (c), Barnes, Rodriguez (Robson-Kanu 90')

Unused subs: Myhill, Townsend, Burke, Barry, Harper

Booking: Bartley 38'

Goal: Phillips 87'

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 27,850 (1,957 away)

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