Nottingham Forest 1 Wolves 1: Podence leaves it late to rescue point for visitors in bad-tempered relegation battle | The Sun

STEVE COOPER was spitting mad after Daniel Podence’s dramatic late strike stretched Forest’s winless run to seven.

And the Wolves striker was just thankful VAR official Neil Swarbrick didn’t rule he was guilty of the same, or his City Ground heroics would have ended in utter shame.

Podence pounced to drill in the 83rd minute goal that cancelled out Brennan Johnson’s first half opener – and kept the heat on under-fire Forest gaffer Cooper.

Yet the pint-sized hitman was then at the centre of a late gobbing storm, after suggestions he spat at Johnson in one of a host of bust-ups that littered an ill-tempered Midlands derby.

Swarbrick deliberated for a couple of minutes before ruling that Podence was in the clear – although TV evidence still couldn’t give an entirely definitive view.

If that got the Wolves forward off the hook, his late leveller certainly did in the match itself, as Forest should have had the points in the bag long before they eventually gave it away.

They had gone ahead through Johnson’s 38th minute tight-angled finish, when Ruben Neves was weak in a challenge and keeper Jose Sa dithered.

It was a particularly sweet moment for Wolves old boy Morgan Gibbs-White, at the heart of a neat combination with Danilo in the creation.

Danilo lofted the ball right, Johnson powered a low shot between Sa’s legs…and stuck his fingers in his ears to taunt Wolves fans as he celebrated.

Gibbs-White had done likewise after scoring in the penalty shoot-out that dumped Wolves from the EFL Cup in January.


Forest should have been celebrating again at least once – notably when Emmanuel Dennis blew the best of the chances.

He cut inside to get the ball on his right – yet another one-footed star – but Sa blocked his drive and Johnson’s follow-up went wide.

That was after the Forest goalscorer insisted he had been felled in the box after skinning Toti near the byline – only for ref Chris Kavanagh to book him for diving.

It was one of EIGHT yellow cards – five for Wolves – that the official flashed on the most stormy and controversial of afternoons.

Throw in two dismissals for that touchline dust-up and how Kavanagh, the man who sent off three Fulham players in his last game, must yearn for a run-of-the-mill goalless draw.

There was never a chance of that with the history of hatred these two have developed for each other over the years.

And Wolves will doubtless claim they had their own chances to stick the ball in the net before Podence finally managed to do so.

Although, to be fair, the closest they came to that was a bullet header from a man in a Forest shirt in the first half.

Moussa Niakhate rose highest to meet a Mattheus Nunes cross, getting there ahead of Matheus Cunha, but was oh-so-relieved when his supposed clearing header came back off his own crossbar.

At that point, with the score still goalless, it all looked for a while as if that would be as high as pulses would raise all afternoon. That soon changed.

Johnson’s opener and subsequent booking got things going…but then when Adama Traore crashed under Felipe’s challenge and a spot kick was waved away, it really blew up.

Two more red cards, two backroom teams scowling furiously at each other for the rest of the game, and the uneasiest of truces.

And ultimately, a point that really doesn’t do either side a power of good…especially not Forest chief Cooper.

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