Memory Lane, October 1977: Reading 3, Nottingham Forest 3
NOTTINGHAM Forest headed back from Elm Park on this Friday night in the knowledge an incident-packed 3-3 draw had put them five points clear at the top of Division One.
But still there was a bitter taste that they had not taken all three points to Nottingham in what was their 13th game of the season.
For the Reds were cruising at 2-0 up when the controversial decision came to send off on-loan goalkeeper Dave Beasant and award a penalty.
The referee appeared to have waved play on when Reading's Martin Williams tumbled under Beasant's challenge in the box on 56 minutes.
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But John Brandwood was then to change his mind after consulting his linesman and Williams picked himself back up to dispatch the penalty past stand-in stopper Steve Chettle.
So began a remarkable final half hour that saw Forest battle bravely to keep their lead intact but ultimately they would succumb.
A marvellous Kevin Campbell strike restored Forest's two-goal advantage as he raced through to beat Steve Mautone from just inside the box with 25 minutes left but Forest were unable to cling on to what they had.
A fourth-minute opener from Pierre van Hooijdonk and a 48th-minute penalty strike from the Dutchman had given Forest a two-goal lead before the penalty.
But once Campbell had put them 3-1 up in the 65th minute, Reading hit back.
Chettle's debut in goal was certainly worth some praise but he was left helpless as James Lambert danced through the right portion of Forest's defence to score with 17 minutes left and Primus leaped unmarked to head the equaliser from a corner six minutes later.
But it was ten-man Forest who came closest to a winner as the clock counted down with the excellent Hooijdonk stinging the hands of Mautone twice with fierce drives and Steve Stone heading wide at the far post. In the end, the Reds had to settle for a point and Beasant was furious at being sent off.
He said: "I can tell you that I didn't touch the player.
"It is the first time I have ever been sent off and I am very upset about it.
"I let him run past me as I knew that he would go down if I did.
"It was the turning point and it's disappointing for the team and for me. Now I face a ban which I don't deserve."
And even Reading boss Terry Bullivant added: "If I was Forest I would be very disappointed with the decision."
READING: Mautone, Bernai, Swales, Williams, McPherson, Primus, Parkinson, Lambert, Caskey, Houghton, Meaker. Subs not used: Booty, Roach, Wdowczyk
FOREST: Beasant, Lyttle, Rogers, Cooper, Chettle, Armstrong, Stone, Gemmill, Van Hooijdonk, Campbell, Bart-Williams. Subs not used: Woan, Johnson, Guinan.