Luton Town 1-1 Nottingham Forest: Visitors come from behind for a share of the points 
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

10 man Nottingham Forest come from behind for a share of the points at Kenilworth Road as Chris Hughton continues his unbeaten start as Forest boss. 

Glen Rea was on target at both ends of the pitch, as his second-half own goal cancelled out his first-half strike, against a Forest side who reacted and looked sharper after Nicholas loannou's dismissal moments before the interval. 

  • First half 

It was a slow start to proceedings at Kenilworth Road as both teams looked to figure each other out. As both sides struggled to break through the midfield and fashion a chance, it was eventually Luton with the first opening of the encounter. 

Bright play from the hosts out from the back switched them from defence to offence very swiftly. Rhys Norrington-Davies fizzed the ball in for James Collins who connected with the ball first time but the striker could only guide his effort into the Forest defensive line. There were shouts for a penalty but the referee deemed it didn't hit the hand of Scott McKenna and the claims were waved away. 

It was a nervy defensive showing from Luton in the early exchanges, with many long balls being put into the stands for a Forest throw in the away sides attacking half. 

Anthony Knockaert made his first start the visitors tonight and was very close to creating the first goal of the night. The French winger took the ball in his stride before sliding it through beautifully to Lyle Taylor but it was cut out superbly by Luton stopper Simon Sluga who got down superbly to deny the on-rushing striker. 

Just moments later, the deadlock was broken at the other end on the 21st minute when Rea poked home following a set-piece. Forest failed to clear the ball and Martin Cranie did superbly to react to the second ball and poke it into the path of Rea who slid the ball home past a bewildered Brice Samba

Forest went on the search for an instant response to going behind but were left frustrated. A perfectly weighted ball from Sammy Ameobi was drifted into the area but nobody could get anything on it for the visitors and it trickled out of play. 

Forest were reduced to 10 men three minutes before the interval, giving them an extra mile to climb. loannou was shown a straight red while receiving treatment, after a 50/50 clash with Martin Cranie. After a long consultation with the linesman who was close to the incident, the referee brandished the red to loannou after the left-back showed studs in his attempt to scramble towards a loose ball.

  • Second half 

After a half that presented no shots on target for Chris Hughton's Forest side, they started the second-half the brighter of the two sides and looked much more switched on than before the break. 

On the hour mark, Luton had Tom Lockyer to thank. Ryan Yates did brilliantly to brush off his man before fizzing in a low driven ball across the area but the danger was averted before it could reach Taylor inside the six-yard area. 

Forest did get themselves on level terms on the 64th minute though, as the goalscorer Rea turned the ball into his own net. After patient build-up on the right flank, the ball fell to Cyrus Christie who delivered the ball nicely with pace and Yates arrived to meet it, but it powered off the head of Rea past Sluga from close range. 

Forest saw more of the ball in the minutes following the second goal but Luton carved open the next chance of the match in their push for a win. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall evaded his markers but his powerful free header didn't amount to anything for the hosts. 

Both sides had half-chances as the clock drew closer to the final 10 minutes. Sonny Bradley couldn't keep his effort down following a deep cross into the area and Dewsbury-Hall recovered fantastically to stop Lolley from squaring the ball, following a lengthy run from inside his own half. 

Yates eyed a winner for the visitors in the dying embers of the match, however, his shot from distance was smothered well by Sluga and Samba also had to be on hand to prevent late drama when he stood firm to deny substitute Jordan Clark

Luton will be frustrated that they couldn't capitalise with an extra man on the field, but they continue their promising start to the campaign and tonight's point moves them up to ninth position and just one-point out of the play-off places. 

Forest were much brighter in the second-half and strangely looked sharper after loannou dismissal, however, they need to turn draws into wins if they're serious about mounting a promotion challenge - which seemingly looks a long way off, at this moment, with the Reds slumped in 20th. 

 

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