Hull City 1-1 Nottingham Forest (EFL Championship) 07.05.22
Nottingham Forest finished off the regular season in the Championship with a crazy 1-1 draw away at Hull City.
Both sides saw opportunities to snatch away all three points, but the majority of them came the way of the hosts, who found themselves through on goal over and over again but failed to convert any of them before seemingly being undone at the death from the spot, only for Lewis Coyle to instantly snatch two points away from The Reds.
The hosts came into the game with anything to play for but pride, with Hull having already ensured their safety in the league. Forest had already missed out on automatic promotion with a 1-0 loss away to Bournemouth last time out, but were playing to secure their highest ever Championship points tally.
Forest named seven changes to the side that fell at the Vitality, with Brennan Johnson, Djed Spence, Sam Surridge, Scott McKenna, Steve Cook, Ryan Yates and Jack Colback dropping out in favour of Tobias Figeuirdo, Jonathan Panzo, Richie Laryea, Alex Mighten, Xande Silva, Cafu and Joe Lolley, with Laryea and Panzo being handed their full debuts in Spence and McKenna’s positions, respectively.
For Hull, there were three changes for their season finale, as Callum Elder, Ryan Longman and Regan Slater returned to the side.
Despite the lack of anything to play for, both sides started the game with a fantastic energy, with Keane Lewis-Potter rolling it through the legs of Joe Worrall in the box before forcing an early corner out of Laryea just two minutes in.
Two minutes later, Forest bit back as Silva found himself breaking in on the left of the home area, but was denied a clear sight at goal by a fantastic Jacob Greaves slide tackle.
Philip Zinckernagel had an opportunity to make Hull panic as a loose Elder back-pass found him free on the right, but more good defending from Greaves denied them of any problems.
In a most uncharacteristic fashion, it was Worrall who presented Hull with a golden opportunity in the ninth minute as his heavy touch broke Allahyar Sayyadmanesh free, but a fantastic Figueirdo slide tackled spared the captains blushes.
The game mellowed out after that, with Mighten the next man to make something happen, as he beat Elder on the right to fizz a ball across, but no red shirts were on hand to tap it home. Moments later, Zinckernagel had a go through a crowd of bodies, but to no avail.
The hosts came so close to breaking the deadlock on the 25th minute as a huge mix-up between Figueirdo and Brice Samba saw Allahyar with a small chance of finding an open goal, but it trickled mercifully past the by-line. However, it was the Iranian forward who fell victim to the chance, as he injured himself stretching for the ball, but re-entered play after a treatment period.
Lolley, deployed in place of Jack Colback at left wing-back, cut in from the left hand side following a Garner corner on the half-hour mark, but his weak-footed striker flew narrowly wide.
Zinckernagel was again thwarted by Greaves after 37 minutes had been played, as a fantastic ball over the defence from Lolley was brought down by the Dane, but an excellent tackled from Greaves stopped him in his tracks yet again.
Some excellent build-up play between Panzo and Lolley presented The Reds with another opportunity as the debuting defender shrugged off two challenges to release his partner down the left, but Mighten couldn’t get a clean shot away through a sea of amber shirts before the teams went away goalless.
The second half saw plenty more of the traffic go Forest’s way, with Xande Silva tapping a fantastic chance wide from just a few yards out, following more excellent build-up play between Laryea and Zinckernagel.
The hosts rallied and threatened to bite back ten minutes into the second half, as a cross from Elder was so close to being turned home by Allahyar, but the forward couldn’t reach it on the stretch.
The Tigers came forward again as another Elder cross fizzed through the legs of Garner to find Slater in the box, but Worrall and Laryea converged on the midfielder to deny him a clear sight of goal.
The hosts pressure kept coming as Allahyar broke away down the right side before being hacked down by Figueirdo, who was booked. Honeyman floated the free-kick in from the right, but it was cleared before Hull recycled possession into a corner vias Panzo, which was subsequently cleared.
Allahyar once again found room on the right after 68 minutes, moments after Forest brought Panzo off to switch to a back four, and delivered a scuffed cross right into the gloves of Samba.
Forest managed to recuperate with the introductions of Johnson and Surridge from the bench, and the former’s cross from the right was spilt into the path of the latter by Nathan Baxter, but the Hull ‘keeper stood his ground to save the follow-up shot with the game petering out.
Hull switched the tempo right back up, however, as Allahyar once again stretched his legs down the right before picking out Lewis-Potter with an excellent cross, only for the youngster to nod over the bar.
Substitute Tom Eaves should’ve placed his side into the ascendancy with eight left to be played, as another inch-perfect cross from Allahyar picked him out at the back post, only for the big striker to nod it into the side netting.
Eaves has another opportunity to strike as he was played clean through on goal by a Huddlestone through-ball following an excellent challenge on Garner, but Spence got back in time to put him off enough to only draw a corner.
Once again, Eaves was a beneficiary as Lewis-Potter latched onto his ball to again go clean through on goal, but once again The Tigers spurned a chance as the wingers shot flew high over the bar under no pressure.
Moments later, Forest nearly sprung a surprise of their own as a goal-mouth scramble almost resulted in a late winner for The Reds, but the stiff back-line of City stood resolute once again.
It was all undone at the death in the cruellest of fashions, as Sam Surridge put his body across Greaves to win a spot-kick, which Johnson rolled home to seemingly grab the win.
Hull City were not to be undone, however, as they went straight up the other end from kick-off, and substitute Coyle’s cross made its way across the box and into the bottom corner of Samba’s net, before the ref blew for the end of a spectacular curtain-dropper to the regular season.
Hull City: Baxter, Jones, McLoughlin, Greaves, Longman (Coyle 56), Smallwood (Huddleston’s 77), Slater, Elder, Honeyman, Lewis-Potter, Sayaddmanesh (Eaves 77).
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Panzo (Johnson 64) Figueirdo, Worrall, Lolley, Laryea (Spence 77), Cafu, Garner, Zinckernagel, Mighten, Silva (Surridge 64).
Venue: Hull City Stadium
*Article provided by Louis Wheeldon (Football Correspondent).
*Main image @NFFC Jonathan Panzo in action on his first start.