Forest lined up this evening with only one change from the eleven that began against Grimsby, Harewood being relegated to the bench, as Forest adopted a 5-4-1- formation. The Reds began brightly and after only 3 minutes a raking angled pass from Bart Man found Rogers whose first time cross caught the Albion defense flat footed but the ball was just too far in front of Quashie and was smothered by the 'keeper. Forest continued to press forward and were awarded a free kick after 7 minutes. From perhaps 30 yards, the kick was taken short by the Bart Man to Rogers who exchanged neat passes with Petrachi, the ball being returned to Bart who shot narrowly wide.
At this stage, Albion seemed to be looking for the long ball over the top, relying on the pace of Hughes to trouble the Reds defenders. One run from the afore mentioned Ginger Whinger ended when he ran into Manninni, tumbled to the ground and looked up at the referee expecting a penalty, which quite rightly was waved away.
The game was developing into a bit of a stalemate, with the midfield resembling the Victoria Center on a Saturday afternoon - too many bodies occupying the same space with no room to maneuver.
Forest suddenly had another chance to go ahead after 28 minutes. A long ball over the defense from Rogers was well controlled by Freedman, who managed to hit his shot wide. From positions such as this, surely you must at least hit the target? It was the Reds who were now creating the scoring opportunities and a deep corner was met at the post by Chettle but again the effort went wide.
Albion had their best chance after 43 minutes when a dangerous cross by Hughes was flicked off the head of Kilbane by Louis - Jean just in the nick of time. With the half drawing to a close Forest came very close to taking the lead themselves. Bart Man rolled the ball into the path of Quashie whose firmly struck shot took a huge deflection off a defender, and with the keeper seemingly well beaten, the ball spun just wide of the upright.
Forest made one change at the re-start, Palmer replacing Manninni who had been limping badly just before the break.. Palmer went into midfield, with Scimeca dropping into the heart of the defense.
Almost immediately the Reds created another chance. A quick break from Rogers, a pass to Petrachi and the most horrendous attempt on goal I have seen so far this season - high and wide from about 4 yards - his only saving grace being that the referee blew for off-side anyway!!
Forest were now threatening to take Albion to pieces and only a last minute tackle stopped Palmer from putting us ahead after good work from Petrachi. A goal was looking a sure thing for Forest and it was no surprise when they went ahead after 61 minutes. After a handball by Kilbane. the free-kick was floated into the box and somehow evaded all the Albion defenders to arrive at the feet of Rogers. His hard low cross found Freedman who steered the ball into the net. 0-1 and we were looking comfortable.
Amazingly, it seemed as if Forest now decided that 1-0 was going to be enough, took their foot off the gas and allowed Albion back into the game by sitting back and inviting them to have a go. Another blatant dive in the box by Hughes ( who else? ) went un-rewarded and un-punished and was followed shortly after by a shot from the same player that was well saved by Norm.
After 75 minutes their pressure was rewarded ( ? ) with the equalizer. A corner was cleared by Chettle to the edge of the box, and when the ball was headed back in there was Hughes, at least a yard off-side to head past Crossley. The entire Reds team were stunned and rounded on the referee but to no avail.
Harewood was introduced after 78 minutes to give some support to Freedman, who had worked hard all night. Forest had one more chance to take all the points when Freedman headed just over after 81 minutes. For the remainder of the game both sides settled for a point, although Forest will be the more disappointed of the two.