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Match Reports

Forest 1-1 Rotherham

20 October 2020

Nottingham Forest were held to a 1-1 draw at home to a determined Rotherham United as they were made to rue plenty of missed chances.

After falling behind to Dan Barlaser's penalty early in the second half, The Reds were denied by the woodwork, goalline blocks and an inspired Jamal Blackman in the Rotherham goal before Sammy Ameobi finally found the breakthrough.

But ultimately Forest had to settle for a draw in Chris Hughton's first home game as manager.

Hughton named an unchanged starting 11 from Saturday's victory at Ewood Park for the visit of Rotherham United in his first game in charge at The City Ground.

Forest started brightly under the floodlights and dominated possession in the early stages of the game.

Within five minutes of the whistle, both Cyrus Christie and Lewis Grabban had dragged efforts wide of Jamal Blackman's goal. The better of the two chances falling to the talismanic Grabban who lost his footing as he pulled the trigger and was unable to capitalise on Ryan Yates's neatly-executed ball over the head of Richard Wood in the Rotherham defence.

The ball did, however, find the back of the net just shy of the 10-minute mark, when Yates miss-hit Joe Lolley's inswinging cross and the ball trickled past Blackman into the bottom-left corner of the goal, but the linesman had already raised his flag for offside and the game remained goalless.

The Reds looked encouraging as they moved the ball about with a refreshing tempo and new-found confidence and continued to control the first half of the match but lacked the killer instinct in the final third of the pitch. The newly-promoted Millers also looked steady when in possesion and kept The Reds defence alert without testing Brice Samba in the Forest goal as the deadlock remained intact at the half-time whistle.

Rotherham United took the lead in the opening stages of the second half courtesy of Daniel Barlaser's well-driven spot kick past Samba, who went the wrong way. The penalty was awarded after Cyrus Christie had brought down Billy Jones in the area and there was little reaction from the players as the referee pointed to the spot after a several second delay.

The Reds almost levelled the score moments later following a free kick into the penalty area, Grabban reacted first but he was dispossessed by a superb tackle by Jones. The Millers could only clear the ball as far as Luke Freeman and his cross was met by the head of Scott McKenna, whose low effort was blocked and scrambled away from the goalmouth.

Forest looked hungry after conceding the goal and began to play with a more attacking mind as Nicholas Ioannou found himself in an advanced position, his drilled cross found Yates whose thumping header shook the crossbar as it ended up in the Trent End. 

Lewis Grabban's saw his close-range poked effort kept out by Blackman and Freeman could only scuff the follow up effort which was eventually cleared away from danger. Grabban then slid the ball through to the charging Lolley on the right-hand side of the area and his low effort at Blackman's goal cannoned back off the goalpost. 

Jamal Blackman was tremendous in the Rotherham goal this evening and came to the rescue once more has he turned away a well-hit effort from Christie as it became increasingly likely that it just wasn't going to be for Forest. 

The Reds' relentless pressure paid off and the breakthrough finally came in the 79th minute when Lewis Grabban was able to pick out Sammy Ameobi with a square ball on the edge of the six-yard box and he tucked the ball into the bottom corner of the goal.

As the final whistle fast approached, Lolley's perfectly weighted through ball found Grabban who rounded the keeper and then drilled his effort into the side netting with the whole goal to aim at.

The Reds fought to the end but were unable to find the all-important winner and will be left to rue plenty of missed opportunities throughout the second half of the match as the game finished all square.

Forest: Samba; Christie, Figueiredo, McKenna, Ioannou; Yates, Colback (Arter 74'); Lolley, Freeman (Taylor 67'), Ameobi; Grabban (c)

Unused subs: Smith, Mbe Soh, Jenkinson, Mighten, Sow

Goal: Ameobi 79'

Rotherham: Blackman; Harding, Ihiekwe, Wood (c), Jones (Sadlier 76'); Wiles, Crooks, Lindsay (MacDonald 67'), Barlaser, Miller (Olosunde 69'); Ladapo

Unused subs: Johansson, Hirst, Smith, Jozefzoon

Goal: Barlaser 51' (pen)

Bookings: Lindsay 54', Harding 90'

Referee: Stephen Martin

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