Nottingham Forest 2 Middlesbrough 2

Middlesbrough have survived an action-packed trip to Nottingham Forest, leaving with a point despite being reduced to 10 men

Arfa / Griffiths Photographers Jonathan Woodgate and George Friend clear again under pressure

Middlesbrough were left hanging on for dear life in an action-packed draw at Nottingham Forest.

Boro survived an early barrage to claw the opener through new boy Kie Kamara and stretched their lead in the second half with a George Friend screamer.

But they had already survived one scare as Jason Steele saved an Andy Reid penalty and wobbled as Forest launched a furious fight-back with late goals from Matt Derbyshire and Darius Henderson.

Boro had to defend some early heavy pressure as Forest attacked from the off.

On seven minutes Mackie squared for Majewski on the edge of the box to blast a shot straight at Dean Whitehead, then Lansbury skied the rebound high over the bar.

Forest went close again on 10 minutes as Whitehead lost the ball on the edge of box, leaving Cox to chase into the box, but Williams came sliding in to block the shot.

Boro went close on 12 minutes as Albert Adomah seized on to a flick-on from Emnes to lash a shot just outside the near post.

Forest probed again on 13 minutes as Cox bustled into the box after cutting out a stray pass but he was tackled by Williams then Lansbury lashed the rebound high over.

The home fans were screaming for a penalty on 16 minutes as Jonathan Woodgate came sliding in to block a low Majewski shot and it appeared to strike his hand.

But straight down the other end Boro took the lead on the break after 17 minutes.

They launched a lightning raid as Grant Leadbitter sent a diagonal ball down the right for Adomah to cut in then square across the face of goal for Kamara to outstretch Lichaj and stab home from close range.

Forest again went on the offensive and Boro had to dig deep to scrap it out in the midfield and to defend a lot of quick balls into the box.

Boro wriggled off the hook on 36 minutes as Forest missed a penalty.

Williams came sliding into a crunching tackle on Majewski and was lucky to escape with just a yellow card, and in the scuffle that followed Boro’s Adomah was also booked.

When order was restored former Sunderland man Andy Reid slammed in a low effort that sent Jason Steele full length to push around his right hand post.

Forest almost snatched a freak leveller on 52 minutes as Reid crossed, and when Mackie flicked it on it hit the back of Cox’s head and squirted goalwards, but Steele stretched to claw it away one-handed then Williams hooked away the loose ball.

Then Boro went down the other end to double their lead with an absolute rocket from Friend on 55 minutes.

There seemed nothing on as Emnes carried the ball to the edge of the box and held it up, but then he laid it back to Leadbitter, who pushed it diagonally first time into the path of over-lapping full-back Friend, who drilled the ball home from 20 yards. Forest went close on 67 minutes when a corner curled in and Derbyshire’s goalbound header hit a team-mate and was then scrambled away.

But they did claw a goal back on 69 minutes as Reid got free down the left. His chipped cross fell to Matt Derbyshire, who had peeled away from marker Richardson to send a diving header in off the far post.

Forest thought they had another penalty on 72 minutes as Henderson burst into the box and Steele came out and went sliding in to tackle, sending the striker sprawling as he seemed to have skipped past.

When the whistle went the home crowd and players thought it was a spot-kick, and as the ref reached for a card they thought Steele was about to be sent off. But Phil Dowd showed Henderson a yellow and there was uproar.

But Forest were back to level on 79 minutes as overlapping full-back Lichaj got down the right and drilled in a low cross that Darius Henderson stabbed in from close range.

Boro had a penalty call of their own waved away after Jutkiewicz was hauled down by Hobbs as they went for a high ball on 86 minutes.

And in the final minute Jutkiewicz fed Butterfield 30 yards out, but his hurried low shot was straight at the keeper.

Boro were down to 10 men deep into stoppage time when Ledesma was shown a straight red for a tackle from behind on Lansbury then from the free-kick Steele tipped over.

MIDDLESBROUGH (4141): Steele, Richardson, Woody, Williams, Friend; Butterfield, Whitehead, Leadbitter; Adomah (Carayol 80), Kamara (Jutkiewicz 81), Emnes (Ledesma, 76) Subs:Leutwiler, Gibson, Hoyte, Smallwood.

FOREST (4-1-2-1-4): Darlow, Lichaj, Wilson (Halford 11), Hobbs, Cohen ©, Abdoun, Lansbury, Majewski (Henderson 58), Reid, Mackie, Cox (Derbyshire 58). Subs: De Vries, Moussi, Jara, Paterson.

Ref: Phil Dowd (Stoke).

Att: 19509 (650).

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