Brentford’s stuttering promotion push suffered another blow after being held to a 1-1 draw by Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest.
Ivan Toney’s spot-kick – his 28th goal of the season – gave the hosts a first-half lead before Filip Krovinovic controversially levelled just after the hour with Forest’s only shot on target.
The Bees had let a two-goal lead slip against Derby in midweek and this latest setback left them with just one win in their last four games.
It was a game dominated by the Bees, but there were only glimpses of the slick side that mesmerised defences at the start of the season.
Forest’s James Garner was the first to show, bursting forward from half-way with three minutes on the clock to fire in a shot from the edge of the box which was always rising.
But the Bees took the lead after 12 minutes, Toney stepping up to slide home from the spot in his trademark style after Gaetan Bong had hauled him over at a corner.
Bryan Mbeumo almost extended their lead five minutes later when he raced free down the left but squeezed an angled drive just wide of the far post.
Brentford survived a penalty scare midway through the half when Bong swerved his way into the box and hit the deck to earn himself a booking for the dive.
The hosts should have stretched their lead on the half hour, Vitaly Janelt’s volley from a training ground corner hitting the bar and bouncing down to Henrik Dalsgaard who side-footed wide.
Krovinovic tested Bees keeper David Raya with a whipped free-kick, but it was a rare effort for Chris Hughton’s side in a half dominated by the Bees.
But there was a timely warning for the Bees on the stroke of half-time when Bong whipped in a superb cross from the right that Lewis Grabban headed narrowly over.
Brentford stepped it up after the break and Sergi Canos twice tested keeper Brice Samba with routine stops, before another gilt-edged chance went begging.
Toney beat the offside trap and squared unselfishly for Mbeumo whose first-time shot from close range was blocked by a last-ditch Bong tackle for a corner.
And it proved costly as Forest hit back through Krovinovic, who slammed home his first goal since signing on loan from Benfica. Brentford felt Mathias Jensen was fouled by Cafu in the build-up but the goal stood.
Substitute Saman Ghoddos almost put the Londoners back ahead with his first touch when he latched on to an Mbeumo through ball, but his low shot was blocked by Tobias Figueiredo.
And he came even closer with 10 minutes remaining with a sweet half volley on the edge of the box which flashed agonisingly wide of the upright.
Seconds later Brentford keeper Raya was lucky to escape a straight red card when he appeared to catch the ball outside his box.
And he was nearly caught out less than a minute later when Cyrus Christie’s speculative 30-yard effort deflected off Jensen and looped just over the angle.
Substitute Tariqe Fosu thought he had given the Bees a late winner but his low drive after an incisive build-up was blocked on the floor by Christie.
Marcus Forss bundled an added-time long throw off target before Toney almost nicked it with what would have been a sensational winner, but his ambitious drive from 35 yards took a slight deflection and flew just wide.
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