Town stung by late Forest blast
Forest struck twice in the last few minutes when it seemed Bryan Klug’s first game in charge as Town’s caretaker boss would end in victory.
Grant Ward had given Blues a first-half lead and Muzzy Carayol and Martyn Waghorn both went close to extending the advantage but on 88 minutes, Forest were handed a lifeline when Ben Brereton went down in the box under Ward's challenge and he made no mistake from the spot.
Bart Bialkowski - who had denied Ben Osborn early on - made a terrific save from Liam Bridcutt but with virtually the last kick, Joe Lolley volleyed in superbly at the far post.
Ben Morris came in for his first start in the Championship as one of four Academy products in the Town line-up.
Morris was immediately in the action with a cross from the left arrowed at Waghorn that was cleared by Tobias Figueiredo but Forest should have been ahead on 10 minutes, Osborn robbing Ward and going through on goal but Bialkowski came to Town’s rescue.
Jordan Spence lost out to Osborn in the box after taking a pass from Waghorn in his stride, Bialkowski saving low down from Lolley’s strike, then Ward in the right place to clear from the corner.
Town’s ‘keeper was at full stretch to keep out Brereton’s powerful drive, Ben Watson heading wide at the far post as Forest threatened to break the deadlock.
Waghorn couldn’t get on the end of Spence’s excellent cross, Carter-Vickers alert to the danger from Adlene Guedioura, Waghorn then denied an opportunity by Danny Fox’s calmness at the back.
Waghorn couldn’t convert after he got to a corner first, Lee Tomlin lost control of Osborn’s pass in the box, Fox then breaking from deep but to no avail.
It was Town who made the breakthrough on 39 minutes, Tristan Nydam driving in a cross and Ward got his head on it to force the ball in despite a valiant effort from Costel Pantilmon.
Town almost doubled the advantage on half-time, Spence led a break, Waghorn’s cross was fed back into the danger area by Nydam and was deflected on to the roof of the net.
Town were denied a second straight after the restart as well, Ward galloped down the right and from his cross Nydam struck first time but his goalbound effort was smothered away from danger.
Guedioura headed wide as Forest responded but it was Town who went close again, Luke Hyam taking Waghorn’s free-kick perfectly but pulling his shot wide of the far post.
Town enjoyed a positive start to the second-half, Waghorn denied then Cameron Carter-Vickers was just short of forcing the ball home from a corner.
Town made a double change with Carayol and Callum Connolly on for Morris and Nydam, Carayol winning a corner with his first touch as he escaped down the right. Spence wide with his header.
Matty Cash replaced Guedioura in Forest’s first change, Osborn wide with a diving header from Tendayi Darikwa’s cross.
Carayol failed to find Waghorn after leading a rapid break for Forest, Pantilmon equal to the task as Waghorn tried to chip him after Carayol had countered again, then Lolley did superbly to break 60 yards and win a free-kick on the edge of the box for Forest. Tomlin well over with his shot.
Forest made their final changes with Liam Bridcutt and Apostolos Vellios on for Watson and Tomlin for the final stages.
Carayol was inches wide of extending Town’s lead after Myles Kenlock created the opening then Brereton went down in the box as Bialkowski challenged, the referee showing the young striker a yellow card rather than awarding a penalty.
Town’s ‘keeper tipped over Lolley’s 20 yard strike, then Carter-Vickers did superbly to stop Lolley converting from inside the box after a flowing Forest move.
Ward was judged the guilty party two minutes from time though, pushing Brereton from behind and the striker finished expertly from the spot and with the last meaningful kick of the game Lolley won it for Forest.
Forest: Pantilmon, Figueiredo, Guedioura (Cash 58), Osborn, Fox, Tomlin (Vellios 76), Brereton, Colback, Lolley, Darikwa, Watson (Bridcutt 76). Subs not used: Kapino, Lichaj, Mancienne, Dowell. Booked: Brereton.
Town: Bialkowski, Ward, Spence, Carter-Vickers, Knudsen, Kenlock, Hyam (Gleeson 84), Skuse, Nydam (Connolly 55), Waghorn, Morris (Carayol 55). Subs not used: Crowe, Sears, Folami, Cotter. Booked: Ward.