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James Chester own goal earns Nottingham Forest point at Stoke

Coventry City v Stoke City – Sky Bet Championship – St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium
(Image credit: Barrington Coombs)

An own goal from Stoke captain James Chester earned struggling Nottingham Forest an important Championship point from a 1-1 draw on a misty night at the Bet365 Stadium.

Jordan Thompson curled the hosts in front from a corner in the first period, but his effort was cancelled out in the second half when Chester turned through his own net.

Forest had the better of the late chances but were wasteful in front of goal, with the sides sharing the spoils.

Both sides had won just one of their last five games with the Potters knowing a win could take them back into the play-off places.

It was the lowly visitors who started the brighter as Joe Worrall glanced a corner wide on the 15-minute mark.

That sparked Stoke into life as the returning Sam Vokes saw an effort turned behind by goalkeeper Brice Samba, before the home side were gifted the lead thanks to a bizarre goal.

Thompson’s in swinging corner was not attacked by Lewis Grabban on the near post, with the ball hitting Samba and nestling in the net to the bemusement of the Forest defenders.

Both sides were stringing some good moves together at points in the first period, but the attackers did little to trouble the respective goalkeepers in the opening 45 minutes.

Joe Allen, who was making his first start of the campaign, lashed an effort over the crossbar after 52 minutes, but the first big chance of the half fell to the visitors.

Full-back Cyrus Christie cut in from the left and saw his 20-yard shot curl narrowly wide of Joe Bursik’s right-hand post.

Then 25 minutes from time, the game saw Chris Hughton’s men draw level.

Stoke failed to properly clear a corner and Anthony Knockeart’s inviting cross was met by the head of Stoke skipper Chester, who put into his own net.

Thick fog then dropped on the Bet365 Stadium with 20 minutes remaining but – despite the difficult visibility – both sides were going in search of a winner.

Substitute Lyle Taylor spurned a chance 10 minutes from time, when he turned over a Joe Lolley cross, before Michael O’Neill’s side had Bursik to thank for earning them a point at the death.

John Obi Mikel’s stray pass allowed Cafu to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but the England Under-21 international did enough to thwart the Forest man.