Hillal Soudani’s late equaliser salvaged a point for Nottingham Forest as they drew 2-2 against Wigan Athletic this afternoon.
Matty Cash had drawn The Reds level in the first half after Nick Powell’s early goal, but Will Grigg’s penalty on the half-hour mark restored their lead.
Lewis Grabban saw his injury-time penalty saved but Soudani was on hand to fire home the rebound and ensure The Reds remain unbeaten this season.
Forest made a poor start to the game, with a sloppy back pass by Tobias Figueiredo conceding a corner inside the first two minutes from which Wigan took the lead. Costel Pantilimon came for the cross but failed to claim, allowing a Powell the chance to nod into an empty net and give the home side a perfect start.
It was almost two for The Latics on seven minutes as Gavin Massey got in behind Ben Osborn and drilled a ball into the near post. Will Grigg arrived to flick an effort at goal but this time Pantilimon was equal to it to push it away.
After the early pressure from the home side, Forest responded well and were level on 10 minutes through Cash’s second goal in as many games. Joao Carvalho pounced on a mistake in midfield to pick up the ball and drive towards goal. He teed up Cash on the right and controlled and fired low into the far corner, giving goalkeeper Christian Walton no chance.
But the home side were still looking threatening, with Michael Jacobs seeing an effort deflect into the side netting and Grigg poking an effort narrowly wide from six-yards out and they retook the lead from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark.
A dangerous ball across the face of goal was set up for Grigg to tap home until he was hauled down by Ben Osborn, with the Northern Irishman dusting himself down to send Pantilimon the wrong way and restore their lead.
A long-range strike from captain Sam Morsy crashed against the base of the post, with the rebound fired wide of the gaping goal by Powell as Forest were fortunate to go into the break with just a one-goal deficit.
The start of the second half was an even one, with both sides battling for possession in the middle of the park. Hillal Soudani was introduced off the bench and he nearly had an instant impact on 56 minutes, getting in down the right-hand side but seeing his low cross scrambled behind for a corner.
Cash worked his way into the penalty area after the hour mark but was denied by a fine block from a Wigan defender, and then a quick break minutes later saw Cash feed Soudani down the left, but his low shot was straight at Walton.
The excellent Matty Cash produced a great run as the game headed into injury time, beating Antonee Robinson on the wing and cutting inside the area where he was hauled down by Sam Morsy for a penalty.
Lewis Grabban stepped up and saw his effort well saved by Walton, but Soudani was quickest to react and lash the ball home from close range.
It was a battle all over the park and both sides had to settle for a point as Forest continue their unbeaten streak at the start of the season.
Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Figueiredo, Fox (c), Osborn, Colback, Guedioura (Watson 45’), Cash, Carvalho (Soudani 54’), Lolley (J. Robinson 65’), Grabban
Unused subs: Steele, Murphy, Dawson, Dias
Goals: Cash 10’, Soudani 90’
Bookings: Osborn 29’, Colback 69’, Fox 87’, Watson 88’
Wigan: Walton, James, Dunkley, Kipre, A. Robinson, Morsy (c), Evans, Jacobs, Massey (Byrne 89’), Powell (Connolly 75’), Grigg (Vaughan 75’)
Unused subs: Jones, Windass, Bruce, McManaman
Goals: Powell 2’, Grigg pen 30’
Bookings: Vaughan 87’, Morsy 88’
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 11,543 (2,513 away)