Match ends, Sheffield Wednesday 1, Nottingham Forest 1.
Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Nottingham Forest: Connor Wickham earns Owls late draw
Connor Wickham's late equaliser for Sheffield Wednesday denied Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi a win to boost their Championship play-off bid following his new deal as head coach.
Wickham's injury-time header from a swinging left-wing corner was Wednesday's reward for continuing to attack, after Joe Lolley had earlier surged into the box to put Forest ahead.
Defeat would have been cruel on the home side, who dominated possession and had the better chances in the opening period in particular, and who had already seen Wickham hit an upright with another header.
Lolley's strike was one of few genuine chances for Forest, who remain four points above Preston in fifth after this draw, while Garry Monk's Wednesday stay 15th.
Reds midfielder Brennan Johnson, on his first league start, earlier had the opportunity to put top scorer Lewis Grabban in for an open goal, but his centre rolled agonisingly in front of the striker.
In truth, Forest had goalkeeper Brice Samba to thank for staying ahead as long as they did, given his first-half save from Jordan Rhodes and a priceless block from Kieran Lee at point-blank range after Wickham's post-kissing effort rebounded kindly.
Lolley might have added a crucial second with a swinging, pacey effort but for a full-stretch stop from home keeper Joe Wildsmith to turn the ball wide.
The new normal
Hillsborough's towering stands were eerily quiet for the return of Championship football, as the echoes of player shouts and calls from the bench were all that rattled around the famous old ground, with its near-40,000 capacity.
The sides emerged onto the field from different sides of the ground, rather than out of the tunnel together as they usually would have to the inevitable roars from the crowd.
Only the minute's silence in thanks to the NHS and then the 'taking of a knee' in support of Black Lives Matter gave the game extra gravitas.
It all felt a bit like a reserve team game or pre-season friendly at times understandably, but, credit to players who were engaging in competitive action for the first time in three months, there was a decent tempo.
All too often the sharpness normally expected at this stage of the season was in short supply.
Both sides went to the bench for drinks breaks at the midway point of each half, while the novelty of extra substitutes was also utilised as players tired.
'Owls deserved point' - reaction
Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"I was very pleased with that performance, a lot of it was very pleasing and it was the least we deserved.
"A lot of the things we were trying to work on in the last couple of weeks, considering everything, a lot of that came out in the performance.
"The only thing that let us down today and probably understandably, from a bit of rustiness was that final third. We got into so many good situations in that final third where we used the ball really well but just didn't quite make the right decision or that final ball in wasn't quite where it needed to be.
"Other than that I thought it was a quite dominant performance against a very good side."
Nottingham Forest head coach Sabri Lamouchi told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"The game is finished when the referee blows the last whistle, so we just need to be focused - to put the ball out or into the corner late one. It's the simple things.
"But after three months we know we are not ready at all, we need some games, and of course it's the small details. To take the three points here would have been the perfect operation.
"I'm upset for the players, to finish with this result was fantastic, a draw is not so bad, we must now think about the next game."
- 27IorfaBooked at 90mins
- 14MurphySubstituted forOdubajoat 68'minutesBooked at 71mins
- 5LeeSubstituted forReachat 74'minutes
- 21LuongoBooked at 62minsSubstituted forHuntat 83'minutes
- 7K Harris
- 6RhodesSubstituted forFletcherat 68'minutesSubstituted forDa Cruzat 74'minutes
- 38Da Cruz
- 11CashBooked at 72mins
- 4WorrallBooked at 68mins
- 40JohnsonSubstituted forSemedoat 62'minutes
- 28SilvaBooked at 78minsSubstituted forBostockat 85'minutes
- 19AmeobiSubstituted forda Costa Jóiaat 62'minutes
- 7GrabbanSubstituted forDiakhabyat 90+1'minutes
- 9da Costa Jóia
- Robert Jones
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sheffield Wednesday 1, Nottingham Forest 1.
Offside, Nottingham Forest. Joe Worrall tries a through ball, but Adama Diakhaby is caught offside.
Dominic Iorfa (Sheffield Wednesday) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Dominic Iorfa (Sheffield Wednesday).
Nuno da Costa (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Liam Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by John Bostock (Nottingham Forest).
Goal! Sheffield Wednesday 1, Nottingham Forest 1. Connor Wickham (Sheffield Wednesday) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Alessio Da Cruz with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Tobias Figueiredo.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Adama Diakhaby replaces Lewis Grabban.
Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Matthew Cash.
Attempt blocked. Connor Wickham (Sheffield Wednesday) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Reach.
Hand ball by Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest).
Foul by Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday).
Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. John Bostock replaces Tiago Silva.
Offside, Sheffield Wednesday. Barry Bannan tries a through ball, but Adam Reach is caught offside.
Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Alex Hunt replaces Massimo Luongo.
Foul by Massimo Luongo (Sheffield Wednesday).
Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Joe Wildsmith.
Attempt saved. Joe Lolley (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ryan Yates.
Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Matthew Cash.
Tiago Silva (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Massimo Luongo (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Tiago Silva (Nottingham Forest).
Moses Odubajo (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alfa Semedo (Nottingham Forest).
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Dominic Iorfa.
Attempt blocked. Lewis Grabban (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alfa Semedo.
Attempt missed. Alfa Semedo (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Matthew Cash.
Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Adam Reach replaces Kieran Lee.
Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Alessio Da Cruz replaces Steven Fletcher because of an injury.
Moses Odubajo (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Nuno da Costa (Nottingham Forest).
Matthew Cash (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Kadeem Harris (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Matthew Cash (Nottingham Forest).
Moses Odubajo (Sheffield Wednesday) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.