Match: Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
Date: September 11, 2016
Venue: Villa Park
Weather: 18C, 64F, partly cloudy
Villa had to settle settle for a single point after trailing and then leading Nottingham Forest in the first clash of former European champions outside a top flight.
Roberto Di Matteo’s men totally dominated the first half, with Ross McCormack hitting the post and Jordan Ayew nudging the ball wide when they could both have scored.
Debut boy Jonathan Kodjia was unlucky not to open the scoring on 43 minutes, his downward header being scooped away by Vladimir Stojkovic, although it looked grim for the home side when Apostolos Vellios fired Forest into a 57th-minute lead.
But after Ayew had rattled the bar with a swerving drive, he set up two goals in as many minutes to turn the game on its head.
First he made a forceful run which ended with McCormack stroking home the equaliser and then he cut the ball back for sub Rudy Gestede to control before the Benin international hooked home a fine volley.
Just when Villa appeared to have secured three points, though, Forest skipper Henri Lansbury drove home in the 87th minute to earn the visitors a draw.
VILLA: Gollini (Bunn HT); De Laet, Elphick, Chester, Cissokho; Westwood, Gardner (Gestede 65); Ayew, McCormack, Grealish; Kodjia. Unused subs: Baker, Richards, Bacuna, Amavi, Jedinak.
FOREST: Stojkovic; Lichaj, Mancienne, Perquis, Fox; Orborn, Kasami, Lansbury, Cash (Lam 21, Pereira 63), Carayol (Dumitru 73); Vellios.Unused subs: Henderson, Mills, Lica, Grant.
Pereira – two bookable offences
Referee: Simon Hooper
Assistant Referee 1: Christopher Akers
Assistant referee 2: Adam Crysell
Fourth Official: James Adcock