Nottingham Forest Under 23s stretched their unbeaten run in the Professional Development League to ten matches following an entertaining 3-3 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
First-half strikes from Kieran Hayes and Yohan Benalouane, either side of Preslav Borukov’s equaliser, gave Forest a narrow lead at the break.
The Owls turned the game on its head after half-time through Conor Grant and Osaze Urhoghide before Yassine En-Neyah levelled in the dying moments to hand The Reds a deserved point.
It was positive day for The Reds as Benalouane completed the full 90 minutes while Samba Sow came through the first half unscathed.
Wednesday started the brighter of the two teams and created a couple of early opportunities open the scoring.
Firstly, Fraser Preston’s long-range free kick was saved by Marios Siampanis. Then minutes later, Declan Thompson saw a 25-yard strike whistle just wide of target.
However, it was Forest who took the lead against the run of play. In 12th minute, Alex Mighten did well to beat his marker on the left side and cut the ball back to Hayes, who took a touch before firing a shot into the top corner.
The Owls responded well to going a goal down and equalised within just five minutes of falling behind. Ben Hughes played a pass through to Borukov in-behind and the striker calmly slotted the ball past Siampanis.
Mighten nearly put the young Reds back in-front with a curling effort from outside the box, but his attempt was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar.
Moments later, Mighten came close again when Johnson’s quick free-kick found the winger inside the penalty area, but his poked attempt flashed just wide of target.
Chris Cohen’s side were rewarded for their dominance when they regained the lead, just four minutes before the break.
Tyrese Fornah’s floated delivery was met by Benalouane who steered the ball into the back of the net from close-range, as Forest led going into the half-time interval.
The Reds began the second period on the front foot and nearly opened a two-goal margin up after Hayes drove into the box before firing a low shot which clipped the outside of the post and rolled wide.
Then minutes after, Hayes’ cut back found Yassine En-Neyah free in space, but his side-footed effort narrowly missed the target.
Forest were made to pay for those missed opportunities as Wednesday were gifted with a chance to equalise from the penalty spot on the hour mark after Grant was bought down inside the 18-yard box.
The forward stepped up and converted the spot-kick into the bottom corner past Siampanis, who dived the opposite way.
As the half wore on, both teams struggled to get a foothold in proceedings, as the game turned scrappy and tight.
But Wednesday took the lead in the last minute of normal time when Thompson flicked home Preston’s in-swinging delivery at the back post.
As Forest were set to lose to their unbeaten streak, En-Neyah popped up in the 93rd minute to level the scores, tapping home from a few yards out following Keith Asare’s excellent low cross.
Shortly after, the referee blew the final whistle to an enthralling encounter in South Yorkshire, as the young Reds moved within a point of league leaders Burnley.
Forest: Siampanis, Barnes (c), Gallacher, Fornah (Asare 79’), Benalouane, Stewart, En-Neyah, Sow (Edser 46’), Hayes (Swan 65’), Johnson, Mighten
Subs not used: Wright, Sole
Goals: Hayes 12’, Benalouane 41’, En-Neyah 90+3’
Bookings: Benalouane 85’