Matt finish is Taylor made for Clarets

Forest boss Dougie Freedman, who made some shocking pre-match comments, can try and fool himself as much as he likes in believing his Forest team were in control. They were anything but in control and in the first hour of the game we could and probably should have done enough to leave Forest dumped.

All the talking points came in the last twenty minutes. Firstly they took the lead through an Eric Lichaj shot before Henri Lansbury found himself leaving early when Stuart Attwell decided, rightly, to wave his red card.

That left us to have that last word with Taylor's goal coming right in front of the Burnley fans just as we were beginning to accept it wasn't to be our night and we would be coming home with nothing.

Matt Taylor scored the late equaliser with a stunning goal

It was an early start for us for this one and we were in Nottingham around 4 p.m. We saw Maid Marian, she's running her own car park in the city now close to the castle which was all locked up, presumably the Sherriff was having his tea and didn't want to be disturbed.

News was already filtering through of traffic problems on the M62. Thankfully, most Burnley fans avoided that route although there were a few got caught up with one supporters coach not arriving until just a couple of minutes before half time.

They'd missed a very good first half performance in which Forest hardly troubled us and we might so easily have gone in a goal or two in front.

Sean Dyche was forced into a change from the team that had beaten Bolton on Saturday. George Boyd, as expected, was ruled out and missed his first league game for us since signing from Hull, a run of 46 Premier League and Championship games. Taylor came in for him for his first start of the season with Fredrik Ulvestad taking the vacant place on the bench.

Having got Mull of Kintyre over with, we took the game to Forest and whilst there was little goalmouth action directly in front of us in the first half, with us defending that end, but we did create some opportunities at the far end.

The closest we came was from a Joey Barton strike. It took a deflection before hitting the inside of the post. If things are going for you, that goes in, but it came out to Andre Gray who converted the rebound only for the assistant referee's flag to go up for offside. There is no doubt that he got the decision correct.

I was a bit concerned when we conceded a free kick for a handball against Michael Keane. I'm not so sure he did handle it but my concern was the fact that Lansbury was going to take it. Given what happened in the summer, I really did think he was going to stamp his name on the game although he opted to leave the free kick for Jamie Ward whose effort was poor and straight into the wall.

He did win a corner with another effort but most of the action was at the other end. Dorus De Vries saved a Taylor free kick whilst both Scott Arfield and Sam Vokes had good chances that they failed to take.

As the players left the pitch at half time I had no concerns. We were by far the better side and I believed we would make that count after the break and go on and win it.

Nothing really changed too much in the opening exchanges and we had one very good spell when we put them under some real pressure, but then, for no obvious reason, we lost our way. Suddenly the passing was nowhere near as crisp or accurate as it had been, we got sloppy and started to give the ball away far too easily.

We were thankful to Tom Heaton for one wonderful reaction save but the mistakes continued and when we made one too many it led to Forest taking the lead. They switched the ball from left to right and full back Eric Lichaj hammered home into the bottom corner.

It wasn't Lansbury, but soon after the midfielder did stamp his name on the game, literally. I have to say, I saw nothing untoward from my vantage point when he and Ben Mee went in for a challenge and was stunned when referee Attwell produced the red card.

I've now seen it again and there is no doubt that he had no option whatsoever but to send him off. It was horrible and only Forest boss Freedman saw any justification in it.

Could we capitalise? It looked not as Forest cleared a ball in from Matt Lowton who had come on for Tendayi Darikwa. That clearance was headed to Keane by Barton. The central defender pushed the ball forward for Arfield who knocked it in to Vokes.

Vokes laid the ball off for Taylor just outside the D. He took one touch to steady himself before unleashing a strike of real power. I've seen it on television and it looks brilliant; from behind the goal it was simply stunning, the ball flying into the net seemingly before we'd even realised he'd got a shot in.

So quick was it, I wasn't sure who had scored it, but the answer was evident with the celebrations with Taylor clearly enjoying his third Burnley goal.

The board went up for five extra minutes. If anyone was going to win it now then it was going to be us. We put them under some real pressure. We won a couple of corners and De Vries dropped a ball from Barton, but it wasn't to be and we had to settle for a point.

I say settle. Anything less at half time would have been a disappointment but when you go into the last minute of a game a goal behind then you have to be delighted with getting a point.

I really did think we did more than well enough for almost an hour of this game, other than capitalising with a goal or two, but the last half hour, at times, wasn't close. Barton will be highlighted; suddenly his passing lost its way and he, as much as anyone, was guilty of giving the ball away.

But a point away from home is always a good one and I am told we are away again this weekend. I'll have to check the fixtures to see where we are going.

The teams were;

Nottingham Forest: Dorus De Vries, Eric Lichaj, Jack Hobbs, Kelvin Wilson, Daniel Pinillos, Jamie Ward (Chris O'Grady 80), David Vaughan, Henri Lansbury, Ryan Mendes, Nelson Oliveira (Jorge Grant 77), Tyler Walker (Dexter Blackstock 69). Subs not used: Subs not used: Dimitar Evtimov, Danny Fox, Johnny Williams, Chris Burke.
Yellow Cards: Nelson Oliveira, Eric Lichaj, Ryan Mendes.
Red Card: Henri Lansbury.

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Tendayi Darikwa (Matt Lowton 84), Michael Duff, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, Matt Taylor, Joey Barton, David Jones (Michael Kightly 84), Scott Arfield, Sam Vokes, Andre Gray (Rouwen Hennings 88). Subs not used: Matt Gilks, Stephen Ward, Fredrik Ulvestad, Chris Long.
Yellow Cards: Michael Keane, Ben Mee.

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Nuneaton).

Attendance: 17,721 (including 862 Clarets).

 

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