Report | Nottingham Forest 2 Swansea City 2
Swansea City were twice pegged back as they played out a draw with fellow play-off hopefuls Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
Steve Cooper’s side had started far the brighter on the banks of the Trent, and took a deserved lead when Rhian Brewster emphatically smashed home his ninth goal of the season.
Sammy Ameobi soon levelled against the run of play, but Andre Ayew’s penalty on the stroke of half-time – his 17th goal of the season – restored Swansea's lead.
But Ameobi struck from long range 10 minutes into the second half and, despite Cooper sending on attacking reinforcements late on, the game ended all-square with a point of more use to the hosts than the visitors.
Swansea are also set to be without Kyle Naughton for the rest of the season after he was sent off in the closing stages.
The result leaves the Swans three points off the play-off places, with games against Bristol City and Reading to come.
Cooper had brought in Erwin Mulder for the injured Freddie Woodman, and Mike van der Hoorn for Ben Cabango as he made two changes from the defeat to Leeds.
The head coach saw his side start very brightly, and a lovely outside-of-the-foot cross from Jake Bidwell should really have been converted by Ayew at the back post, but the Ghanaian headed wide.
Connor Roberts then fired left-footed into the side-netting after some excellent, patient build-up.
It was early days but it felt like a goal was coming, and it arrived in the eighth minute.
Conor Gallagher laid the ball off for Bidwell to deliver a ball that Brewster flashed home with a left-foot volley.
It was no less than the visitors deserved and they continued to cause all manner of problems for their hosts.
Ayew and Bidwell combined down the left, but Roberts took just too long to get a shot away as the forward’s cross came to him.
The Swans had been bossing the contest, but they suffered a setback when Forest’s first attack of any note ended with an equaliser in the 19th minute.
The ball fell for Ameobi after a challenge with van der Hoorn, and he took aim to curl a right-footed strike high into the net.
The goal sapped some of Swansea’s momentum, and the next 15 minutes proved more even, with the visitors not quite managing the fluency they had shown in the early exchanges.
And Forest could easily have led at the break had Ameobi done better from the right-hand side of the six-yard box, dragging wide when a goal looked likely.
Instead it was Swansea who led, after Ayew was bundled over as he attempted to strike from just inside the box.
Referee Oliver Langford pointed to the spot, and Ayew made no mistake.
The hosts started the second half on the front foot, looking to respond quickly in a contest that was becoming increasingly niggly.
Van der Hoorn made a superb block as Ryan Yates got away a strike from the edge of the area, then backed it up with an important header to deal with Carl Jenkinson’s delivery.
But again Forest were offering little genuine threat, only for Ameobi to produce another fine finish out of nothing to peg Swansea back once more.
The winger cut in from the right and his low left-foot shot from 25 yards crept inside Mulder’s left-hand post.
Forest had a better spell on the back of that strike, Lewis Grabban firing an effort over as the offside flag was raised, just before Cabango came on to replace van der Hoorn around the hour mark.
For the first time in the match, Sabri Lamouchi’s side were on top but Cooper looked to change the flow of the game by sending on Bersant Celina for Jay Fulton.
The Swans went close to taking the lead for a third time as Bidwell swung in a cross that Ayew brought down but could not prod past keeper Brice Samba.
But Swansea’s pursuit of a winner was dented when Naughton was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Forest substitute Alex Mighten with just under 10 minutes to go.
Cooper sent on George Byers and Jordon Garrick, knowing how important a winner could be, but it did not come.
Nottingham Forest: Brice Samba, Carl Jenkinson, Tobias Figueiredo (Michael Dawson 77), Joe Worrall, Yuri Ribeiro; Sammy Ameobi (Alex Mighten (77), Samba Sow (Tiago Silva 56), Ben Watson (captain), Ryan Yates (Adama Diakhaby 89); Nuno da Costa (Joe Lolley 77); Lewis Grabban.
Unused Substitutes: Jordan Smith, John Bostock, Tendayi Darikwa, Brennan Johnson.
Swansea City: Erwin Mulder; Kyle Naughton, Mike van der Hoorn (Ben Cabango 63), Marc Guehi; Connor Roberts, Jay Fulton (Bersant Celina 71), Matt Grimes (captain), Jake Bidwell; Conor Gallagher (George Byers 86); Andre Ayew, Rhian Brewster (Jordon Garrick 86).
Unused Substitutes: Josh Gould, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge, Yan Dhanda, Liam Cullen.
Referee: Oliver Langford