Nottingham Forest 2-2 Stoke City:  Yates rescues point for Forest late on as
Samba sent off
Brice Samba is dismissed for Nottingham Forest (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)

An action packed second half saw Ryan Yates earn a point late on for Nottingham Forest against Stoke City despite ending the game with Joe Worrall in goal after Brice Samba was dismissed for striking Phil Jagileka.

Forest opened the scoring through Brennan Johnson, but were behind by the 87th minute after Josh Maja and Lewis Baker scored for The Potters.

A dramatic late equaliser from Ryan Yates however was enough to gain the hosts a point.

Story of the match

Ben Wilmot almost got Stoke off to the perfect start in the first minute of the game, hitting a shot from the edge of the box with the outside of his boot and hitting the bar.

Baker aimed a cross into Nick Powell, who could not quite get enough power on his header to direct it goalwards.

Djed Spence was able to drive forwards for the hosts and cut the ball back to Johnson, who could do nothing with the ball.

Minutes later Kienan Davis found himself in on goal, but a strong block by Jagielka was able to avert the danger.

Phillip Zinckernagel broke into the box for The Reds, but his cross was behind Johnson who recovered it but his shot went into a crowd of players and was cleared.

Johnson and Davis looked to fashion an opening for Forest on the counterattack, but Forest’s number nine was slowed down as he looked to play in Johnson again and could not pick out a pass.

Spence cut in from the right-hand side and fired a powerful effort at Joe Bursik in goal for Forest, who seemed to have dropped the shot initially, but he regathered the ball at the second attempt.

Davis then broke through for Steve Cooper’s side and looked to pick out Jack Colback, but his pass was turned behind for a corner that came to nothing.

Powell aimed for the back post with a header, but it was comfortably saved by Samba on the half hour mark.

Soon after Samba produced a great chance, as he played the ball to Johnson who was in on goal, but the Welshman’s attempt to chip Bursik went straight into the keeper’s arms.

Worrall had to be alert to prevent Baker breaking through for The Potters, making a strong challenge to stop the breakaway.

Johnson cut the ball back to Garner, who saw his shot deflected behind for a corner.

Jacob Brown found himself in space on the right-hand side for Stoke, but his final ball let him down as he looked to cross.

Maja saw his shot from inside the box blocked as the game entered added time.

It was goalless at the break in an even encounter that had not been full of great chances barring Johnson’s failed chip. The main talking point of the half was the referee’s performance which had incensed Forest fans.

Half time score: Nottingham Forest 0-0 Stoke City

Zinckernagel broke through for Forest but his cross from the byline was held by Bursik.

Baker went so close to opening the scoring when his free kick from the edge of the area crashed against the post, with the follow up headed over.

It was the hosts who led in the 55th minute however, as Max Lowe played a beautiful driven cross into Johnson who was able to atone for his miss in the first half to tap home the opener.

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Taylor Harwood-Bellis was fortunate not to turn a cross into his own net to double the hosts’ lead soon after, as Forest looked to gain some breathing space in the tie.

Maja had a shot from the edge of the box that had Samba worried, as he beat the keeper but just missed the target.

The loanee from Bordeaux was able to score in the 67th minute however, as he tapped in from a corner to level the score line.  

Johnson cut in and shot for Forest, but his effort went just over the bar.

Samba had to be alert to deny Jaden Philogen-Bidace, getting his fingertips to the ball to save.

The keeper had a moment of madness straight after however as he pushed Jagielka off the ball and was sent off with the referee awarding Stoke a penalty.

Baker stepped up to take it, and scored in the 87th minute, putting his penalty in the top left corner past Worrall who was put in goal for Forest who had used all three substitutes.

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Forest were able to get a dramatic equaliser in added time however, as Garner’s free kick crashed against the crossbar, and substitute Ryan Yates was able to head in after the ball was crossed back into him to level late on.

Full time concluded a fantastic second half which saw Forest come back from 2-1 down in added time with an outfield player in goal to earn a point.

The result does not help either side in the pursuit for the playoffs, but The Reds in were delighted to snatch a point late on given the circumstances in which the draw was earned.

Nottingham Forest: Samba, Spence, Worrall ©, Colback, Davis (Surridge 53’), Zinckernagel (Yates 81’), Lowe, Johnson, McKenna, Cook (Mighten 81’), Garner.

Stoke City: Bursik, Allen ©, Tymon, Wilmot, Brown (Clucas 71’), Jagielka, Harwood-Bellis, Powell (Thompson 78’), Maja (Fletcher 78’), Baker, Philogene-Bidace.

Referee: Leigh Doughty