Nottingham Forest dug deep to earn a point away from home against Bristol City this afternoon despite playing the final half-hour with 10 men.
A resolute defensive performance saw The Reds take a point back to Nottingham after Ryan Yates’s second-half red card and they had the chances to take all three points too.
But a it was a share of the spoils between two sides battling it out for places at the top of the Championship table.
Sabri Lamouchi made one change to the side from the one which defeated Derby County prior to the international break, an enforced one as Jack Robinson came in for the injured Yuri Ribeiro at left back.
It was a positive start to the game for Forest as they looked for a quick start. Controlling the ball inside the opening 10 minutes, Tiago Silva saw a shot deflect just wide of the near post and Ryan Yates had a good volleyed effort cleared off the line by Famara Diedhiou.
Forest continued on the front foot, pinning the hosts in their half with Joe Lolley forcing Daniel Bentley into a stop down to his left on 15 minutes but they couldn’t find a way through to take the lead.
As the first half wore on, Bristol City grew back into the contest but without creating any clear-cut openings, with Andi Weimann firing wide of the mark in their only effort of the opening period.
The second half started with a good opportunity for Forest, with Tiago Silva twisting and turning inside the area and forcing a good low stop from Bentley, but the home crowd got right behind their side after that and it seemed to lift The Robins.
Several crosses came into the Forest box which they dealt with before on 55 minutes Bristol City came agonisingly close to taking the lead as Weimann’s cross was diverted onto his own post and away to safety by Ryan Yates.
Two minutes later and Yates’s afternoon came to an early end as the midfielder was shown a straight red card for a lunging tackle on Adam Nagy midway inside the Forest half.
Naturally, The Reds looked to contain their opponents more now playing with a man less, but looked to threaten on the counter attack. Lolley and sub Albert Adomah both had teasing crosses well defended by the home side before a glorious opportunity fell to Grabban on 73.
A corner into the City box was headed back into the danger zone, with Grabban pouncing on a loose touch by a City defender to loft the ball over the onrushing Bentley only to see the ball drop just wide of the post.
Weimann saw an effort drift wide of the post and Tommy Rowe headed over unmarked at the far post as Bristol City tried to find the winning goal, but Forest’s defence stood firm to keep the home side at bay.
As the game headed into injury time, City had a great chance to win it as Nathan Baker headed a corner kick back across goal for Rodri to convert from two yards out but he acrobatically volleyed over the bar.
Goalless at Ashton Gate but certainly not a drab draw as Forest secured a vital point away from home against one of their promotion rivals.
Forest: Samba, Cash, Figueiredo, Worrall, Robinson, Watson (c), Silva, Yates, Ameobi (Adomah 62’), Lolley (Carvalho 81’), Grabban (Mir 88’)
Unused subs: Muric, Bostock, Dawson, Chema
Bookings: Ameobi 36’, Samba 86’
Sent off: Yates 56’
Bristol City: Bentley, Wright (c) (Palmer 65’), Baker, Williams, Pereira, Brownhill, Nagy, Rowe, Weimann (Rodri 76’), O’Dowda (Eliasson 65’), Diedhiou
Unused subs: Maenpaa, Smith, Semenyo, Massengo
Booking: Rodri 84’
Referee: Craig Pawson
Attendance: 23,573 (2,309 away)