Words by Christian Brown
Nottingham Forest got their rewards for a battling performance away at Millwall, with the Reds heading back up the M1 with a well-earned point following a 1-1 draw.
The Lions took the lead after a stray Loic Mbe Soh header was intercepted by Tom Bradshaw, who then played a one-two of sorts with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and upon receiving the ball back, fired past Brice Samba.
However, Forest responded immediately and Mbe Soh atoned for his error, with a stunning forward pass going straight through the Millwall defence and to Alex Mighten, who dinked it over Bartosz Bialkowski for his first goal in a red shirt.
The game didn’t have a lot of chances otherwise, but Samba had to be alert in the 94th minute when Ryan Leonard fired from range, forcing the Forest stopper to tip over.
With the point safely secured, we had a look at how the Forest players performed on a tricky London away day.
Brice Samba – 6
Couldn’t do anything about the goal and most of the shots he faced were routine for him, but his vital tip over the bar from Leonard in the 94th minute ensured Forest left the capital with a point.
Cyrus Christie – 6
Mixed bag – had a few struggles and his initial missed header led to Mbe Soh’s skewed effort, but generally speaking, was largely solid at both ends of the pitch.
Loic Mbe Soh – 6
Directly at fault for the Millwall goal, but made amends immediately with a delightful forward pass to Mighten for the Forest equaliser. That error aside had a very strong game and dealt brilliantly with the aerial threat.
Joe Worrall – 7
Had a lot more time than he perhaps realised for some of his clearances, but performed admirably and looked solid with Mbe Soh. Has been said that he perhaps struggles against powerful target man, but dispelled that here.
Yuri Ribeiro – 6
Didn’t have a great first 45 minutes, but grew into the game impressively in the second, displaying some really neat touches, good passing and resolute defending. Booked.
Ryan Yates – 5
As always, gave 100% and got stuck in – getting some vital tackles in along the way – but was reckless in possession at times, especially when Forest needed a calm head and a bit of quality on the ball.
Samba Sow – 7
Just an absolute monster and helped quell the physical threat brilliantly. His reading of the game is so underappreciated and it allows him to make so many timely interceptions. Must keep him fit. Booked (incredibly harshly).
Alex Mighten – 8
Utterly superb all game and thoroughly deserved his first Forest goal, which he took brilliantly. Not afraid to take a man on, incredibly skillful on the ball and also deceptively strong, as he showed when tracking back for defensive duties. A class act.
Cafu – 7
Was given a harsh lesson in the brutalities of the Championship as he was clearly targeted by Millwall – something he didn’t exactly take well to – but he got on with it, showed some great touches and performed well. Booked.
Sammy Ameobi – 5
Defensively sound in the first half and showed some good attacking flair, but the second half represented another of his ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ games as nothing he touched came off. Booked.
Lewis Grabban – 7
His reading of the game is sublime, as he so frequently showed by drifting into positions where he can get on the ball and have a say in the game. Didn’t have a lot of service, but was unlucky not to get an assist after a good ball across the face of goal had no takers.
Lyle Taylor (Grabban, 69) – 6
Displayed good hold up play as and when was needed and won a good few headers, but once again – and like Grabban – the team couldn’t supply him with a chance in front of goal.
Anthony Knockaert (Mighten, 75) – 6
Immediately got involved with the game and looked to get Forest moving – beating men with ease and playing some lovely passes.