Nottingham Forest were held to their second 1-1 draw of the season against Reading at The City Ground as they missed the chance to move up to third in the Sky Bet Championship.
Lewis Grabban grabbed his 16th goal of the season in the 80th minute and looked like he had won the game for The Reds but Sam Baldock squeezed the ball under Brice Samba only four minutes later to quickly respond for Mark Bowen’s side.
There was one change for Forest from the side that beat Luton Town on Sunday. Sammy Ameobi came into the starting line-up for Albert Adomah who dropped to the bench.
Similar to Sunday, the visitors started the game well. John Swift looked to demonstrate his playmaker attributes with his bursting runs through the middle as Reading aimed to catch Forest on the break.
Only a few minutes in, Swift curled the ball straight at Samba after some good recycling of the ball from Reading.
After 20 minutes, Forest began to grow in confidence. Joe Lolley had the first real chance of the game, when his right-footed strike was tipped around the post by Rafael Cabral.
Moments later, it was Lolley who came close again. His dangerous free-kick was played into the hectic penalty area, but it was evaded everyone and trickled wide for a goal kick.
Tiago Silva had a volley dip narrowly over Cabral’s crossbar after Lolley’s free-kick rebounded off the wall. From the goal-kick, Obita dragged a tame effort wide of Samba’s post after The Royals caught the Forest defence napping.
Just before the interval, Obita forced Samba into a save. Ovie Ejaria and Swift linked up well on a counter-attack before the 26 year-old fired the ball at straight at Samba.
The second half began with Forest lacking the clinical touch that was on show against Luton. Just over 10 minutes into the second half, Obita beat the Forest high line, only to unleash a weak effort into the hands of Samba.
Just after the hour, Yuri Ribeiro was booked after bringing Swift down. Olise took responsibility from the free-kick but smashed the opportunity over the bar.
The Reds continued to be frustrated at the City Ground. However, the introduction of Joao Carvalho added that extra flair to their play and they very nearly took the lead when Matty Cash arrowed the ball just wide after Carvalho laid the ball back.
Forest broke the deadlock just before the 80th minute when Grabban guided the ball into the net after Ameobi fluffed his shot on the edge of the penalty area. The goal is his fourth goal in the last three games at The City Ground.
Just like they did earlier in the month, Reading replied within minutes. Baldock, who only came off the bench on the 77th minute, managed to find space to turn and score via the underside of the crossbar.
Next up for Sabri Lamouchi’s men is a trip to Brentford next Tuesday where they will be hoping to complete a league double over The Bees.
Forest: Samba, Cash, Dawson ©, Worrall, Ribeiro, Watson, Sow (Carvalho 61’), Ameobi, Silva, Lolley (Adomah 89’), Grabban.
Unused subs: Smith, Jenkinson, Semedo, Yates, Chema
Goal: Grabban 80'
Booking: Ribeiro 65’
Reading: Cabral, Gunter, Morrison, Moore ©, Blackett, Olise (Loader 90’), Swift, Pele, Obita, Ejaria, Puscas (Baldock 77’)
Unused subs: Walker, Miazga, Rinomhota, Boye, Adam
Goal: Baldock 84'
Bookings: Pele 23’, Ejaria 72’
Referee: David Webb
Attendance: 26,840 (808 away)