Nottingham Forest Under 23s played out a 1-1 draw with Hull City in the Professional Development League at The City Ground on Friday afternoon.
An 85th-minute equaliser from Brennan Johnson secured a point for The Reds in a much-improved second half performance, cancelling out Tom Powell’s 37th-minute opener.
The Reds were boosted by the return of Jorge Grant who captained the side after his return from Luton Town and they made a positive start to the contest, moving the ball around nicely. Jayden Richardson looked to threaten on the right side and was unlucky when his low, drilled cross was cleared away from danger. But it was the visitors who had two good chances to take the lead.
A long ball over the top was latched onto by Elliot Holmes who raced into the penalty area before squaring the ball to Tom Powell, who volleyed over the bar from 12-yards. Moments later, Brandon Fleming weaved his way into the penalty area and lashed a shot towards goal, forcing Liam Bossin to push it wide for a corner.
The Reds were struggling to create any clear-cut chances with Idris Kadded’s long-range effort which was comfortably held by the ‘keeper the closest they came, before a free-kick routine saw Brennan Johnson fire over from close range after his shot took a deflection.
Then The Tigers took the lead through Tom Powell. A cross was whipped on from the right and Powell got ahead of Ethan Stewart to prod the ball into the net and give his side the lead going into the break.
Frustrations were evident at the end of the half, as Kadded picked up a booking for a late challenge on Lewis Ritson, who then picked up a card himself for stopping an attack down the left.
Kadded was replaced by Virgil Gomis at the break and The Reds created several opportunities. First, Johnson tried his luck from range with a curled effort that edged inches wide of the top right-hand corner, before Grant shot at goal from outside the area which went over. Johnson was then the creator as his through ball was collected by Richardson, but his shot was straight at the ‘keeper.
Another flurry of chances went Forest’s way soon after Gomis was played through but he put his effort straight at Burton, before the ball fell to Jake Taylor outside the area who curled a strike straight into the arms of the ‘keeper.
The Hull custodian continued to frustrate Forest on 63 minutes when he pulled off a stunning save to deny Grant’s powerful strike from distance which was destined for the top corner. Richardson was then shown a yellow card for a strong challenge Ahmed Salam, before things got worse for Forest when Mighten was carried off after a coming together with Callum Smith.
Jimmy Gilligan made his final change of the game when he brought on Owen Gallacher for Ethan Stewart, and The Reds had momentum. That soon told when Brennan Johnson equalised as he rounded off a swift counter-attack and passed the ball past Burton into the net.
The Reds had Liam Bossin to thank soon after when the ball was flicked over the Forest defence. The Irishman just about got there first to punch clear before he was taken out by Tom Powell.
The visitors could have won it at the end when Fleming let fly with a low drive that edged inches wide of the far post. At the other end, the final chance fell Forest’s way when Gallacher drove into the box, before the ball fell to Johnson at the back post who lashed his shot wide as it finished 1-1.
Forest: Bossin, Richardson, Iacovitti, Taylor, Lawrence-Gabriel, Stewart (Gallacher 78’), Kadded (Gomis 45’), Johnson, En-Neyah, Grant (c), Mighten (Hayes 70’)
Subs not used: Soloha, Coveney
Goal: Johnson 35