Byram earns festive point for Leeds United

Sam Byram’s goal 10 minutes from time earned Leeds United a deserved point on their travel to Nottingham Forest in their Christmas game at the City Ground.

Although playing away, the Whites controlled large parts of the game, but were trailing from the 17th minute after letting in a soft goal and had their patience tested before equalising to draw 1-1.

Leeds, fielding an unchanged starting line-up, got on the ball from the first minute, playing more football than the hosts probably expected, and got an early shot in, Stuart Dallas sending a shot just wide from the edge of the box.

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Chris Wood got free from a Dallas corner only to see his weak header cleared and Byram then had shouts for a penalty rightly waved away when he fell easily in the box and was booked for a dive.

But right against the play it was Forest who took the lead when Giuseppe Bellusci misjudged a long ball by Matt Mills and Nelson Oliveira capitalised to get to the ball ahead of Marco Silvestri, go round him and stroke the ball into the unguarded net.

Oliveira sent a 25-yard shot wide, but Leeds made the most of the running again without having any cutting edge to their good approach play, the closest to a goal being when Wood again headed weakly, meeting one of many inviting crosses from the impressive left-back Charlie Taylor.

Forest started the second half on the attack when they won a free-kick on the edge of the box and Oliveira hit a shot inches over.

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But Leeds again took command as Byram headed over from a corner, Wood sliced a shot wide on the run after getting in behind the home defence and Byram could only get another weak header in.

The hosts threatened when defender Matt Mills came forward for a corner and saw his header cleared off the line by Luke Murphy.

Forest sub Jamie Ward saw a 20-yard shot tipped over in a rare save for Silvestri before United finally had their reward with an equaliser on 80 minutes

Leeds sub Souleymane Doukara played a nice one-two with fellow sub Mirco Antenucci on the edge of the box to open some space for Byram and the young defender turned attacker fired a superb low shot into the bottom corner of the net.

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It was the cue for an exciting finish as both sides came close to winning the match.

Antenucci should have done better with a chance in the box following a great pull back by Scott Wootton and Wood completed his disappointing display when miskicking after being presented with a good opportunity in the area.

But Forest came even closer as their sub Oliver Burke struck the post with a shot from the edge of the box after the ball fell to him when Liam Cooper had made a superb defensive block to deny Ward.

Murphy curled a shot over from the edge of the box in added time and it was all over when another late chance went begging from a low free-kick put into the box as Cooper failed to make clean contact.

Match facts

(Oliveira 17)

(Byram 80)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sky Bet Championship

Attendance: 27,551

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Forest: De Vries, Lichaj, Mills, Hobbs, Mancienne, Lansbury, Vaughan (Burke 83), Mendes (Ward 61), Osborn, Oliveira, O’Grady (Tesche 68).

Leeds: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Byram (Coyle 90+2), Cook (Doukara 62), Bridcutt, Murphy, Dallas (Antenucci 77), Wood.

Referee: James Linington.