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Match Reports

Norwich 3-3 Forest

26 December 2018

A Matty Cash brace and a goal from Jack Robinson saw Nottingham Forest score three times on the road as they drew 3-3 at Norwich City this afternoon.

Full back Robinson struck either side of Cash's double as The Reds took a 3-0 lead at Carrow Road before a late fightback from the home side saw them snatch an unlikely point.

Mario Vrancic reduced the arrears before Onel Hernandez struck twice in injury time to earn a point for The Canaries.

Aitor Karanka made four changes to the side which lost to QPR last weekend, with Danny Fox returning from injury and Michael Hefele, Claudio Yacob and Matty Cash all returning to the starting 11.

The first chance of the game arrived on nine minutes in fortuitous circumstances for the home side. A ricochet of the ball saw it play Teemu Pukki through on goal and as his low shot looked destined for the bottom corner, Costel Pantilimon got down well to superbly tip it round the post.

The home side continued to mount pressure on the Forest goal in the opening stages, with Pukki flashing an effort just over the bar from a tight angle on 18, Pantilimon having to be alert to keep out Jamal Lewis's deflected shot on 23 and Mario Vrancic's header from the resulting corner.

Marco Stiepermann was shown a yellow card just before the half-hour mark right in front of the travelling Forest fans for a forceful, late tackle on Jack Robinson, and that seemed to spark The Reds into life as they looked more compact and comfortable on the ball.

Joe Lolley found space on the right wing to cut inside and have his shot deflect just wide, then from the resulting corner Hefele's header back across goal found its way to Fox but the ball got stuck under his feet before he could get a shot away.

The Reds continued to grow as the half went on and another late tackle, this time from Ben Godfrey saw the Norwich man pick up a yellow card and Forest win a free kick right on the edge of the home side's penalty area on 37. Fox hammered the free kick goalwards, Tim Krul parried it just out of the reach of Lewis Grabban and Norwich were able to clear the danger.

They weren't able to, however, as the first half headed into added on time and The Reds took the lead. A mistake at the back saw Cash steal the ball in the Norwich penalty area, and the midfielder lashed an effort inside Krul's near post to put Forest in front.

There was a feisty start to the second half as both sides were competitive in the tackle and it was Forest who had a great chance to double their lead through Grabban on 58. Joao Carvalho broke forward with the ball in a four-on-four situation. The Portuguese midfielder fed Grabban on the right of the penalty area whose stinging shot was pushed away by Krul.

On 65 minutes, The Reds did have their second as Joe Lolley's enticing free kick was flicked on and as the home side struggled to clear, Robinson lashed high into the net to send the away end into a frenzy.

Ten minutes later and they were in dreamland as Cash added his second and Forest's third. Lolley was again involved as he cut the ball back, this time from the left-hand side and Cash coolly converted into the bottom corner to make it three.

But the deficit was soon reduced as Vrancic's strike from distance took a hefty deflection and completely wrong footed Pantilimon to give the home side a lifeline.

The home side piled forward and put tremendous pressure on Forest's goal. Godfrey blazed over the bar and Pantilimon had to make a couple of fine saves to keep them at bay, until another fortunate goal saw them reduce the deficit to one as Hernandez's cross beat everyone to go in off the far post in injury time.

A superb double save by Pantilimon to deny first Godfrey and then Timm Klose had looked to have secured all three points for The Reds but there was still time in the seven minutes added on for Hernandez to pop up and convert from close range to ensure the game ended 3-3.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Hefele, Fox (c), Robinson (Janko 65'), Yacob, Colback, Cash (Dias 83'), Carvalho, Lolley, Grabban (Murphy 71')

Unused subs: Steele, Guedioura, Watson, Osborn

Goals: Cash 45', 74', Robinson 65'

Bookings: Fox 49', Robinson 52'

Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Klose, Godfrey, Lewis (Rhodes 72'), Vrancic, Stiepermann, Tettey (c), Cantwell (Hernandez 63'), Buendia (Srbeny 72'), Pukki

Unused subs: McGovern, Trybull, Hanley

Goal: Vrancic 77', Hernandez 90', 90'

Bookings: Stiepermann 27', Godfrey 37', Pukki 55', Vrancic 80'

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 26,933 (1,481 away)

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