Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 2, Nottingham Forest 2.
West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Nottingham Forest: Matty Cash's injury-time strike earns draw against Baggies
Matty Cash's thunderous injury-time strike earned promotion-chasing Nottingham Forest a draw in a gripping and controversial encounter against Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion.
The Baggies looked set to move nine points clear before the afternoon kick-offs with Tobias Figueiredo's second-half own goal putting them 2-1 ahead.
But Cash smashed the ball into the far corner from the right side of the box to take Forest up to fourth place in the table and keep the gap between them and West Brom at eight points.
Figueiredo's was the second unfortunate own goal of the game, West Brom's Kyle Bartley having also put through his own net from Sammy Ameobi's cross to make it 1-1 at the break following Callum Robinson's stylish, curled opener.
Forest were convinced Ameobi had been fouled in the build-up to Figueiredo's goal, but referee Keith Stroud allowed play to continue and, after the Baggies broke upfield, the Portuguese defender could only divert Jake Livermore's drilled cross past keeper Brice Samba.
Cash's dramatic leveller in a feisty match played in testy, windswept conditions at The Hawthorns went some way to appeasing a furious Forest, who felt Livermore was lucky to escape without punishment for a high boot on Yuri Ribeiro and that they should have had a penalty for handball against Bartley soon after the hosts went ahead in contentious circumstances for the second time.
But West Brom also ended frustrated with the officials as Robinson's 96th-minute strike went over the line before hitting Bartley, who was flagged for offside a goal which West Brom boss Slaven Bilic said "should have been given".
The Baggies set the tone for a breathless match in a strong start, but neither side managed a shot on target until the Baggies went ahead when the impressive Matheus Pereira robbed Samba Sow of possession and slipped a pass to the right to Robinson, who shifted the ball beautifully out of his feet and bent it into the far corner.
Forest were a vastly different side to the one that surrendered so meekly to Charlton at the City Ground on Tuesday, both in personnel and performance - with the five players missing from the 1-0 home loss all returning and having central roles.
One of the quintet, 16-goal top scorer Lewis Grabban, should have put the Reds ahead before Pereira struck only to wastefully head the ball wide from Lolley's inviting cross.
Forest responded well to falling behind and came close to equalising when a venomous Tiago Silva volley went narrowly over the bar from 18 yards. But Bartley's unfortunate own goal, as he attempted to prevent Ameobi's luscious cross reaching Grabban, did make it 1-1.
The Baggies, who have now just won once in six home matches, recovered to take control after the interval and Ameobi had to block Pereira's sweet goalbound volley, while Samba made fine saves to deny Filip Krovinovic and Livermore.
Home pressure told when Baggies captain Livermore crossed and Figueiredo's attempt to block saw him divert the ball into his own net from close range with Hal Robson-Kanu lurking for a tap-in.
Cash's sumptuous 91st-minute strike - Forest's only effort on target - denied the Baggies victory and their lead at the top was cut to four points by the end of Saturday's fixtures courtesy of Leeds winning.
West Brom head coach Slaven Bilic:
"I told the guys I'm going to be disappointed and they're frustrated, but if we continue like this, with the same patterns, focus, energy and quality, then we really have a good chance to do what we want to do [win promotion].
"This was our best performance, whatever the result - we were always the ones who were better, in ball possession, in number of great situations, creating chances, everything was there.
"The only thing that was missing was to kill the game at 2-1. But some of our finishing was not good enough, and the goalkeeper made a few good saves."
Nottingham Forest manager Sabri Lamouchi:
"Some people and refs can make mistakes. I made mistakes on Tuesday maybe and will before the end of the season and we must help them of course. But decisions can change the game.
"I have a lot to complain about. But I am the manager of Forest and must be positive with people, it's part of the game."
- 7KrovinovicSubstituted forHarperat 90+2'minutes
- 12Costa PereiraSubstituted forPhillipsat 72'minutesBooked at 75mins
- 4Robson-KanuSubstituted forGrosickiat 84'minutes
- 30SambaBooked at 71mins
- 11CashBooked at 27mins
- 21SowBooked at 40minsSubstituted forDiakhabyat 70'minutes
- 19AmeobiSubstituted forSemedoat 70'minutes
- 28SilvaSubstituted forWalkerat 80'minutes
- Keith Stroud
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 2, Nottingham Forest 2.
Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Callum Robinson tries a through ball, but Kyle Bartley is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Jake Livermore with a headed pass.
Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Matthew Cash (Nottingham Forest).
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Rekeem Harper replaces Filip Krovinovic.
Goal! West Bromwich Albion 2, Nottingham Forest 2. Matthew Cash (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Ben Watson.
Attempt blocked. Alfa Semedo (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Lolley with a cross.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Tobias Figueiredo.
Attempt saved. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) header from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kamil Grosicki with a cross.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Brice Samba.
Attempt saved. Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Filip Krovinovic.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Brice Samba.
Attempt saved. Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Kamil Grosicki replaces Hal Robson-Kanu.
Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Adama Diakhaby (Nottingham Forest).
Attempt missed. Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Filip Krovinovic following a fast break.
Attempt missed. Tobias Figueiredo (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Joe Lolley with a cross following a set piece situation.
Foul by Conor Townsend (West Bromwich Albion).
Joe Lolley (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Tyler Walker replaces Tiago Silva.
Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion).
Attempt missed. Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Callum Robinson.
Yuri Ribeiro (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Ben Watson (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Matt Phillips replaces Matheus Pereira.
Brice Samba (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Alfa Semedo replaces Sammy Ameobi.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Adama Diakhaby replaces Samba Sow.
Filip Krovinovic (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Ben Watson (Nottingham Forest).
Own Goal by Tobias Figueiredo, Nottingham Forest. West Bromwich Albion 2, Nottingham Forest 1.
Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Romaine Sawyers tries a through ball, but Filip Krovinovic is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Matheus Pereira (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Yuri Ribeiro (Nottingham Forest).
Attempt blocked. Matheus Pereira (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Filip Krovinovic with a cross.