Friday, December 3

Sammy Ameobi Equalises Twice To Deal 10-Man Swansea Play-Off Blow

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Frankie Omokhua

Sammy Ameobi scored two goals worthy of football’s greatest stages to earn Nottingham Forest a point that keeps them on course for a shot at promotion, even though they missed their chance to clinch a play-off place.

A win over 10-man Swansea that are also dreaming of a glorious end to the campaign would have been enough to secure a top-six spot but Forest, who have not been in the top flight since they were relegated in 1999, were forced to settle for a draw after twice coming from behind.

One more win will do it for Forest, whose fans are desperate to return to the elite.

The days of consecutive European Cup wins, in 1979 and 1980, will probably never return, yet, this club has been in the wilderness for too long.  

Rhian Brewster, on loan from Liverpool, struck a fine opener in the eighth minute and after Ameobi levelled, Andrew Ayew’s penalty in first-half stoppage time restored the Swans’ advantage.

But, another spectacular strike from Ameobi left Swansea three points shy of the play-offs with two games left, though they will be without defender Kyle Naughton after he was sent off in the 82nd minute for hacking down substitute, Alex Mighten. 

Forest could not handle Swansea’s quick passing and sharp movement and it was a surprise when they drew level in the 20th minute.

Mike van der Hoorn’s tackle on Ameobi was poor and the ball broke kindly for Ameobi, who curled it into the top corner from 25 yards.

Ameobi should have done better just before half-time when he drifted into space inside the box but could not pick out either Lewis Grabban or Ryan Yates, who were waiting for a tap-in in the middle.

Soon after the restart, though, Ameobi delivered again. This time he drifted in from the right and drilled a left-foot shot that beat Erwin Mulder at his near post. Perhaps, Mulder should have moved more quickly to stop it but it was a super strike nonetheless.

As the match wore on, Forest started to apply more pressure. Naughton was shown a straight red card for cleaning out Mighten as the substitute tore away from him down the left, a challenge that enraged the Forest bench.

With the extra man, the home side charged forward in the final period of the game but despite the pressure Swansea held firm.

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