Lewis Grabban misses late chance in frantic finale as Nottingham Forest held to a draw by Rotherham

Jon Culley
·2-min read
Nottingham Forest players react after a glorious late chance to win the game goes begging - GETTY IMAGES
Nottingham Forest players react after a glorious late chance to win the game goes begging - GETTY IMAGES
  • Nottingham Forest 1 Rotherham United 1

Forest manager Chris Hughton jumped to Lewis Grabban’s defence after the striker’s glaring second-half miss denied the former Brighton boss two wins from two matches since taking charge at the City Ground.

Grabban, who last season became the first Forest striker to notch 20 goals in a season in 17 years, has yet to get off the mark in the new campaign and squandered a golden chance to put that right and grab three more points as Forest put Rotherham under sustained second-half pressure.

After the visitors had gone ahead through a 51st-minute penalty, Sammy Ameobi scored a deserved equaliser with 11 minutes remaining, with Grabban providing the assist. The Forest front man looked set to roll home the winner in a frantic finale, taking the ball round goalkeeper Jamal Blackman but sending it wide of an open goal.

“Lewis needs a goal but he has been around long enough to have been through periods before when he has not scored for a while and I don’t think it will affect him,” Hughton said.  “What he will do is to keep getting in those positions where he gets the chances.

“As a team we had enough chances tonight to have won two games and on the second half performance it was a game we should have won.”

Rotherham, whose manager Paul Warne is continuing to self-isolate after a family member tested positive for Covid-19, were slow to find their feet but finished the opening half on the front foot and their refusal to allow Forest to settle was rewarded six minutes into the second period when Cyrus Christie stumbled on the edge of his own box and, in trying to regain possession, brought down Billy Jones. 

Referee Stephen Martin at first seemed unmoved but then pointed to the spot.  Daniel Barlaser converted the penalty emphatically. Assistant manager Richie Barker admitted the Millers rode their luck at times as both Ryan Yates and Joe Lolley hit the woodwork before Ameobi grabbed the equaliser, steering the ball home from close range from Grabban’s cutback.

“There was some heroic defending and a bit of luck but I’m proud of the spirit and effort the players put in against a good team,” he said.

Match details

Nottingham Forest (4-2-3-1): Samba; Christie, Figueiredo, McKenna, Ioannou; Yates, Colback (Arter 74); Lolley, Freeman (Taylor 67), Ameobi; Grabban.  
Substitutes not used: Smith (gk), Mbe Soh, Jenkinson, Mighten Sow.

Rotherham United (4-1-4-1): Blackman; Harding, Ihiekwe, Wood, Jones (Sadlier 76) ); Barlaser; Wiles, Lindsay (S MacDonald 67), Crooks, Miller (Olusunde 69); Ladapo.  
Substitutes not used: Johansson (gk), Jozefzoon, Hirst, Smith.

Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire).

Bookings: Rotherham: Lindsay, Harding.