Nottingham Forest Under 23s stretched their unbeaten league run to five games as they played out a tense 1-1 draw with Sheffield United at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium.
A late equaliser from Blades captain Reece York cancelled out the Forest trialist’s second-half strike to deny The Reds the chance to stretch their lead at the top of the Professional Development League.
In a game shy of many clear-cut chances, both sides spurned early opportunities to get on the front foot. United forward Ta’shae Andall-Gibbons saw a low drive across goal fly narrowly wide of the far post, before Ethan Stewart saw his header routinely saved by Jordan Amissah.
Forest almost took the lead two minutes before half-time when Brennan Johnson struck a dipping free-kick from 25 yards which was superbly tipped over the cross bar.
Moments later Sheffield United went up the other end and had a good chance of their own. Jake Young cut in from the left and sent a vicious shot goalwards, but Jordan Smith was equal to it and palmed it away, only as far as Sam Ackroyd whose acrobatic follow-up caused no trouble for Forest.
The second-half saw United step up their attacking force and they began to cause Forest some problems. Keenan Ferguson’s looping cross from the left almost snuck in to the far corner before Smith made a sublime low save to deny Andall-Gibbons from close range.
Forest eventually took the lead against the run of play just after the hour mark when Trialist skilfully beat his man and cut in from the left, sending a fierce low effort goalwards which flew into the bottom corner via a deflection.
The away side had chances to extend their lead but Johnson failed to convert after a marauding run through the United defence from the half-way line.
The final ten minutes saw the Blades turn the screw going forward and after Young saw a header saved his side were soon level. York curled a cross to the far post which deceived Smith and crept into the top corner.
The Blades had chances to snatch victory at the end when Ferguson saw a low effort saved, before they struck the post in injury time directly from a corner.
Forest held on to secure a hard-earned point on the road however, and maintained their good run of form at the top of the league.
Their next game is against Wigan Athletic at Alfreton Town’s Impact Arena next Monday (21st October, kick-off 7pm).
Forest: Smith, Rama, Gallacher, Fornah, Stewart, Preston (c), Clough, Barnes, Swan, Johnson, Trialist
Subs: Wright, Ram, Sodiende, Asare, Walsh