Hull City 1-1 Nottingham Forest: Dramatic draw sees Reds finish fourth
Nottingham Forest will face Sheffield United in the Championship play-off semi-finals after a much-changed Reds were held to a dramatic draw by Hull City to finish fourth in the table.
Brennan Johnson appeared to have sealed a third-place finish for Forest with an injury-time penalty, after Sam Surridge was fouled by Tom Huddlestone.
But Lewie Coyle remarkably snatched a draw for the Tigers with a cross that somehow beat Reds goalkeeper Brice Samba.
Forest ‘s failure to beat 19th-placed Hull, and Huddersfield’s 2-0 win against Bristol City, saw the Reds drop from third on the final day of the regular season.
However, they head into their first play-off campaign for 11 years looking to end their 23-year absence from the Premier League.
To get to the final at Wembley on 29 May – a game often dubbed the richest game in football – Steve Cooper’s Reds need to get past a Blades side looking to make an immediate top-flight return.
Cooper made seven changes to his Forest side that was beaten by Bournemouth on Tuesday – a defeat that ended the Reds’ hopes of automatic promotion.
Influential midfielder Jack Colback and experienced defender Steve Cook – who suffered a nasty gash to his head against the Cherries and whose father suffered a heart attack at that match – was left out.
Jonathan Panzo, an England Under-21 defender who joined Forest in January, started on his Forest debut, while Canada full-back Richie Laryea made his first start for the club.
Striker Surridge, defender Djed Spence and Championship young player of the season Johnson were among those to drop to the bench.
Despite having nothing to play for on the final day of the campaign, Hull drew one of the biggest home league crowds seen at the MKM Stadium for five years.
Tigers supporters now have a rebuild of the club to look forward to, with Acun Illcali moving into his first summer as club owner. Illcali has also planned to treat hundreds of Hull fans to a holiday in his native Turkey in the off season.
Forest errors presented Hull’s Allahyar Sayyadmanesh with two chances before the break – the best best of which he sent wide after getting between Tobias Figueiredo and goalkeeper Brice Samba following a defensive mix-up.
Forest’s Joe Lolley, Alex Mighten and Xande Silva threatened, but home keeper Nathan Baxter was untroubled until late on.
The introduction of Surridge and Johnson with 25 minutes left added a sense of urgency to Forest, with the pair demanding a double save from Baxter.
In a chaotic ending to the match, Keane Lewis-Potter fired wastefully over for Hull, only for Coyle to rescue a draw with a searching cross from deep that skipped into the net moments after Johnson’s penalty.
- 16LongmanSubstituted forCoyleat 45′minutes
- 6SmallwoodSubstituted forHuddlestoneat 77′minutes
- 20SayyadmaneshSubstituted forEavesat 77′minutes
- 3FigueiredoBooked at 63mins
- 24PanzoSubstituted forJohnsonat 65′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 14LaryeaSubstituted forSpenceat 77′minutes
- 18Ribeiro Dias
- 19Costa SilvaSubstituted forSurridgeat 65′minutes
- 6Mbe Soh
- Simon Hooper
Match ends, Hull City 1, Nottingham Forest 1.
Second Half ends, Hull City 1, Nottingham Forest 1.
Goal! Hull City 1, Nottingham Forest 1. Keane Lewis-Potter (Hull City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lewie Coyle with a cross.
Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.
Goal! Hull City 0, Nottingham Forest 1. Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Penalty Nottingham Forest. Sam Surridge draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Tom Huddlestone (Hull City) after a foul in the penalty area.
Djed Spence (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Tom Eaves (Hull City).
Attempt saved. Alex Mighten (Nottingham Forest) with an attempt from very close range is saved in the bottom right corner.
Attempt missed. Keane Lewis-Potter (Hull City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Tom Huddlestone with a through ball.
Offside, Hull City. Nathan Baxter tries a through ball, but Tom Eaves is caught offside.
Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Joe Worrall.
Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Brennan Johnson.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Lewie Coyle.
Foul by Alex Mighten (Nottingham Forest).
George Honeyman (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Tom Eaves (Hull City) header from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Keane Lewis-Potter with a cross.
Attempt missed. Cafú (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Philip Zinckernagel.
Tobias Figueiredo (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.