Nottingham Forest 1-1 (5-3 pens) Bristol City: Robins fall short of securing Manchester United clash

After settling for a 0-0 draw at Ashton Gate, Bristol City ventured to Nottingham Forest’s City Ground on Wednesday to dispute their Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Replay. The Robins had fell to a slender defeat against Leeds United in their last outing, while Nottingham Forest were held to a draw by Bournemouth.

NFO: Turner; Niakhaté, Felipe, Omobamidele; Toffolo, Danilo, Kouyaté, Montiel; Elanga, Gibbs-White; Origi

BCI: O’Leary; Roberts, Dickie, Vyner, McCrorie; Williams, King; Mehmeti, Knight, Bell; Conway

With just eight minutes on the clock, it was Divock Origi that netted the first goal of this enthralling Emirates FA Cup tie – smashing a near-post flick from Felipe past Max O’Leary for his first goal since his summer arrival from AC Milan.

But the Robins weren’t behind for long, and when Matt Turner could only turn a long-range drive from Andy King onto the woodwork, Sam Bell was able to collect the rebound and tee up Jason Knight for a quickfire leveller less than ten minutes after conceding.

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A heavily-rotated Nottingham Forest looked to be inferior to their visiting rivals for much of the first half, with Tommy Conway and Anis Mehmeti keeping Turner busy. The American goalkeeper did well to keep the scores level – but in need of a winner, Nuno Espirito Santo made a plethora of attacking changes.

They seemed to have the desired effect, with O’Leary forced to make a flurry of vital saves to ultimately take the match into extra time. But in the final half-hour of Wednesday’s encounter, it was Robins substitute Nahki Wells that looked to be the brightest spark – seeing his strike blocked by Nuno Tavares before teeing up Harry Conick, though he failed to hit the target.

Nottingham Forest drew first blood in the resulting penalty shootout, with the hosts going on to score all five of their efforts. Bristol City’s second attempt had seen Sam Bell denied by Matt Turner, meaning Taiwo Awoniyi’s final conversion would send the Robins back to Ashton Gate with nothing to show for their trip to the City Ground.

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Wednesday’s hosts have now sealed a mouthwatering Fifth Round tie with Manchester United, to be played on February 28. Before that match though, they must turn their attention to the visit of Newcastle United this weekend.

Bristol City travel to Middlesbrough on Saturday, before hosting high-flying Southampton in midweek.