The Wokingham Paper

Nottingham Forest 1-1 Reading: Baldock levels late to cancel out Grabban's opener

Sam Baldock
Reading v Blackpool Sam Baldock

SAM BALDOCK netted a late equaliser just minutes after Lewis Grabban’s opener to earn Reading a point on the road against promotion chasers Nottingham Forest.

In a game of few clear cut chances, former Reading loanne Grabban notched his 16th Championship goal of the season ten minutes from time which was quickly cancelled out by Baldock’s equaliser as the points were shared.

Reading were looking to return to winning ways after their nine game unbeaten run was ended last weekend at Millwall.

The sides played out a remarkable 1-1 draw at the Madejski Stadium earlier in the month, with Reading equalising in the 97th minute, just moments after Ben Watson had given Forest the lead.

However, there was no drama to match in the return fixture at the City Ground with a quiet opening 45 minutes.

Reading had the opening two chances of the match as John Swift, who already has three career goals against Forest, smashed a powerful shot over the bar before his second effort was stopped by Bryce Samba after a lay off from Michael Olise.

Forest grew slowly into the half as Joe Lolley tested the resolve of Rafael who made a smart save from a long range drive.

Pele picked up the first caution of the game as he gave away a free kick which Lolley hit into the wall, before Tiago Silva put the rebound over the top of Rafael’s goal.

Rafael stayed alert to hold on to Joe Worrall’s skidding drive, before Reading had the final chance of the half in the final few moments as George Puscas and Ovie Ejaria counter attacked quickly, but Samba was able to tip Obita’s strike around the post.

The half came to a close without any goals with neither side threatening to score on many occasions in a subdued opening 45 minutes.

Olise opened up the Forest defence with a superb 60 yard pass to find Obita on the left wing but his shot was comfortably saved by Samba to keep the scores level.

The first Royals substitution of the night saw Sam Baldock replace Puscas after a quiet performance from the Romanian international with 20 minutes of the contest remaining.

Forest scored the opening goal with just 10 minutes left as former Royal Lewis Grabban arrived at the back post to slide in and convert Sammy Ameobi’s cross.

But Reading weren’t behind for long as Baldock made an impact off the bench as he squeezed the ball past Samba under pressure from three defenders.

The point sees the Royals move up a place into 15th in the Championship table.

Reading face fellow Championship side Cardiff City at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday in the FA Cup fourth-round before they return to Championship action at home to Bristol City on Tuesday evening.

Forest: Samba, Cash, Dawson, Worrall, Ribeiro, Watson, Sow, Lolley, Silva, Ameobi, Grabban.
Subs: Carvalho, Smith, Jenkinson, Semedo, Yates, Chema, Adomah.

Reading: Rafael, Gunter, Morrison, Moore, Blackett, Pele, Olise, Ejaria, Obita, Swift, Puscas.
Subs: Walker, Miazga, Rinomhota, Baldock, Loader, Boye, Adam.

Goals: Grabban 80′, Baldock 83′

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