Lewis Grabban came off the bench to score twice as Nottingham Forest were denied by a late goal to draw 2-2 away at Millwall tonight.
In an entertaining clash at The Den, The Reds went behind in the first half through Shaun Williams’ goal but Grabban came off the bench to score twice and turn the game on its head.
Forest were denied all three points as Aiden O’Brien scored in injury time to bring a game of two contrasting halves to an end.
Sabri Lamouchi made three changes to the side which lost out against Cardiff last weekend, with a change in formation too with three centre backs. Michael Dawson, Alfa Semedo and Rafa Mir came into the side for the clash at The Den.
The home side started on the front foot, with Ben Thompson heading over the bar on five minutes and they took the lead from a corner on 15 through Wiliiams. A corner from the right from Jed Wallace was met by an unmarked Williams, who nodded down into the ground past Brice Samba.
Forest struggled to get going at the start of the game, with Mahlon Romeo forcing Samba into a low save just before the half-hour mark, as The Reds struggled to hold onto the ball at the top end of the pitch.
No change in personnel at the break but a change in formation for Forest as they reverted back to their usual four at the back, and it almost produced an immediate response from The Reds as Jack Robinson’s deep cross on 49 was laid back to Sammy Ameobi by Matty Cash but his low effort was well saved low down by Bartosz Bialkowski.
It was a much-improved display from Forest, with Semedo lashing wide from 20 yards and Ameobi curling an effort into Bialkowski’s arms as Forest increased the tempo and increased the pressure on Millwall.
Joe Lolley and Lewis Grabban were introduced from the subs’ bench and the latter made an instant impact, pulling Forest level with his first touch of the game.
A free kick from Tiago Silva found Joe Worrall deep at the back post who headed back across goal where the goal-poacher Grabban was lurking to notch his ninth goal of the season from two yards out.
The goal seemed to spring the hosts into life, with Romeo driving wide of the target from the edge of the box before Samba was called into action to make a fine save from close range, keeping out Jake Cooper’s header.
But it was Forest who hit the front as that man Grabban was on hand to seemingly give The Reds all three points, converting from Ameobi’s low cross to complete the second-half turnaround with just minutes left on the clock.
The goalscoring wasn’t finished there, unfortunately for Forest, as Millwall levelled things up in injury time. Williams hit a long-range strike which deflected, deceiving Samba who could only parry for sub Aiden O’Brien who finished from close range.
A point apiece in an entertaining game under the lights as Forest showed plenty of character and resolve to fight for a point.
Forest: Samba, Cash, Figueiredo (Lolley 57’), Dawson (c), Worrall, Robinson, Watson, Semedo (Adomah 80’), Silva, Ameobi, Mir (Grabban 62’)
Unused subs: Muric, Carvalho, Bostock, Chema
Goals: Grabban 63’, 88’
Bookings: Cash 30’, Silva 66’
Millwall: Bialkowski, Romeo, Pearce (c), Cooper, M. Wallace, Williams, Molumby, Skalak (O’Brien 78’), Thompson (Mahoney 83’), J. Wallace, Smith (Bradshaw 61’)
Unused subs: Sandford, Brown, Hutchinson, Bodvarsson
Goals: Williams 15’, O’Brien 90’
Booking: Thompson 32’
Referee: John Brooks
Attendance: 12,976 (1,267 away)