Apostolos Vellios gave the Reds a shock lead against the run of play in the 57th minute before goals from Ross McCormack and Rudy Gestede put Villa 2-1 ahead. A late surge from Forest saw Hildeberto Pereira go on a run resulting in an equaliser through Henri Lansbury, before Pereira was dismissed for a second booking for his celebration.
Here are the ratings for the Forest team:
Vladimir Stojkovic - 8
Kept Forest in the game. Pulled off a fantastic save to deny a Jonathan Kodija in the second half. That had followed a very good save on his line from a well-aimed low header by the former Bristol City striker. Stojkovic was a commanding presence and looked fairly assured on his debut.
Eric Lichaj - 5
May have put Ross McCormack off when the Scotsman was presented with a good chance from a narrow angle. Switched off at times and sloppy in possession. Allowed Gestede the time to get a shot in for his goal.
Michael Mancienne - 6
A solid display at the back, kept the Villa strikers relatively quiet given the amount of possession their team had. Couldn't quite get across to stop McCormack slotting home the equaliser. Could have been forgiven for being wrong footed for Rudy Gestede's goal.
Damien Perquis - 6
Got in some good blocks to prevent Villa taking shots outside the area and also cut off passing lanes into the box.
Danny Fox - 5
Marshalled Ayew in the early stages but struggled to contain him from then on, as did the rest of the team. Failed to stop him crossing for Gestede's goal.
Pajtim Kasami - 5
Aggressive in the tackle. Guilty of a couple of rash challenges and did little of substance otherwise. He didn't look too interested in stopping Ayew as the game wore on and the team paid for it with goals conceded.
Henri Lansbury - 8
He was in the right place at the right time to bag the equaliser to cap a good performance. Alert early on to make some important clearances. Determined in midfield throughout, striving to put in his challenges and win the second balls on what was a largely difficult game for Forest on the back foot.
Matty Cash - 5
Showed plenty of commitment, coming off worse in a hard challenge on Tommy Elphick. He tried to run off the knock but was substituted after 20 minutes.
Mustapha Carayol - 6
His pace down the left wing was Forest's only threat in the opening stages, causing trouble for Ritchie De Laet. He started of the breakaway for Vellios' goal.
Apostolos Vellios - 7
The Greek centre forward was largely anonymous for much of the game but popped up in the 57th minute to thunder the ball into the back of the net from 25 yards to give Forest a surprise lead. He was also involved in Forest's equaliser. Quiet for so much of the game but got it right when it counted.
Ben Osborn - 5
Put Aly Cissokho under pressure on the right but the Frenchman seemed to always have an answer to the young winger. Although he made some sporadic inroads, he spent much of the game in his opponent's pocket.
Thomas Lam - 5
Appeared to pick up where Cash had left off with a foul on Ayew. That was an early sign that he might struggle with Ayew and the Ghanaian beat him with ease on a couple of occasions to find space for shots. He too sustained an injury and left the field in the second half.
Hildeberto Pereira - 7
His cameo had everything in a real Jekyll and Hyde performance. Initially lethargic in tracking back for Villa's goals and received a silly booking for a fracas with Cissokho. His real impact came from a truly explosive bursting run through midfield resulting in an equalising goal for Lansbury. Elation turned to despair when he received a second booking and a red card for an emotional celebration with the away fans which was harshly deemed as too much by referee Simon Hooper.
Nicolao Dumitru - N/A
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