Ryan Yates’s first goal at The City Ground was not enough as Nottingham Forest were held to a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough this evening.
The midfielder scored his first goal at home for The Reds in a performance in which they dominated Boro, but Paddy McNair’s penalty 10 minutes from time saw them snatch a point which left Forest frustrated.
Sabri Lamouchi reverted back to a four-man defence after a change of formation against Millwall on Friday, with Yates returning from suspension and recalls to the starting line-up for Lewis Grabban and Joe Lolley.
Forest had the better of the early exchanges, pinning Boro into their own half as they searched for the opening goal.
Lolley drew a comfortable save from Aynsley Pears, Matty Cash’s driving run ended with a shot dragged wide of the target and on 19 minutes Grabban almost rounded Pears but was forced wide and the chance went.
Forest were dominant but couldn’t find the goal to match their play, with Lolley bursting into the area on 39 and squaring for Grabban, when he could have taken a shot himself, but the pass was ahead of the forward and Boro could scramble the ball clear.
Sammy Ameobi had a great chance at the start of the second half, controlling a trademark Michael Dawson cross-field pass then forcing a save at the near post from Pears, before Boro almost snatched a goal against the run of play as Paddy McNair broke down the right and called Brice Samba into action.
On the hour, The Reds came close as Yates crashed an effort into the ground and back off the crossbar with Pears beaten, but Yates was not to be denied as he put Forest in front on 63 minutes.
Matty Cash whipped in a superb delivery from the right-hand side with plenty of pace, allowing Yates to direct a header past Pears and give Forest a deserved lead.
But that lead was extinguished on 81 as the visitors were gifted a leveller from the penalty spot after Jack Robinson brought down substitute Marvin Johnson inside the area. McNair stepped up to confidently slot past Samba and give Forest 10 minutes to find a winner.
The Reds couldn’t find the breakthrough, however, and had to settle for a point when their dominance deserved all three.
Forest: Samba, Cash, Dawson (c), Worrall, Robinson, Watson, Yates (Adomah 84’), Silva (Semedo 77’), Ameobi (Carvalho 72’), Lolley, Grabban
Unused subs: Muric, Figueiredo, Mir, Chema
Goal: Yates 63’
Bookings: Silva 27’, Semedo 83’, Worrall 87’, Robinson 90’
Middlesbrough: Pears, Spence (Johnson 67’), Fry, Ayala (c), Howson, Coulson, McNair, Saville, Clayton (Walker 73’), Fletcher, Tavernier
Unused subs: Mejias, Wood, Bola, O’Neill, Liddle
Goal: McNair pen 81’
Bookings: Spence 24’, Fletcher 85’
Referee: Andy Woolmer
Attendance: 24,577 (500 away)