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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Davies hails Forest comeback

Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies said he was proud of his players as they fought back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw against Middlesbrough at the City Ground.

Last Updated: 17/09/13 at 23:48 Post Comment

Billy Davies: Proud of his players

Billy Davies: Proud of his players

Forest were trailing to efforts from Kei Kamara and a wonder goal from left-back George Friend, but he sent on strikers Matt Derbyshire and Darius Henderson and they both scored to rescue a point for the Reds against a Boro side who finished the game with 10 men following the injury-time dismissal of Emanuel Ledesma.

A delighted Davies said: "I said to the players at the end of the match that I was very proud of their performance, the effort, the commitment.

"The one thing we an say about this group of players is that they never give in, they have a fantastic energy and spirit about them and that's what makes me proud. It was a fantastic game of football and a fantastic performance from Forest.

"We thoroughly deserved to win the match and on another night we would have taken three points.

"They were 1-0 up with their only shot at goal in the first 45 minutes and then went 2-0 up through a wonder goal. But even at that point I was still confident we would get something from the game."

Referee Phil Dowd's performance was one of the main talking points after a frenetic encounter, with a series of bizarre decisions, but Davies refused to talk about the match officials, saying: "I will not comment on the referee's performance. I have no comment what to make whatsoever."

Opposite number Tony Mowbray, who was left nursing wounded pride after seeing his side throw away a two-goal lead, was more talkative about Dowd.

"I thought he got quite a bit wrong tonight," he said. "It's not an easy job, the modern-day referee. But he gets paid for making decisions and he made them."

Forest were awarded a first-half spot-kick for a foul by Rhys Williams on Raddy Majewski, but Andy Reid saw his kick saved by Jason Steele. Mowbray took umbrage at Dowd's decision.

"What I don't like officialdom at times is the over-dramatic nature of the decision," Mowbray added.

"He saw where the ball went - and I know Williams won the ball pretty cleanly - but the dramatic nature of him standing there for three, maybe four seconds, waiting and like a pointed dog when pointing to the spot in dramatic fashion. I don't think there's any need for it."

Mowbray also believed his side should have won a late penalty of their own when Marvin Emnes was brought down in the box, adding: "I'm sure Billy will be just as aggrieved as I am about the refereeing decisions. I cannot believe we were not given a penalty decision near the end - the lad has practically rugby-tackled around the waist and pulled him to the ground. It is unbelievable."

The Boro boss was, though, pleased with his side's display despite the end result.

He said: "They never really felt threatened. Yes they put a lot of balls in the box but (Jonathan) Woodgate and (Rhys) Williams headed a lot of balls out and stood out well, while we looked a threat on the break, highlighted by both of our goals.

"They nullified our passing game, but we stood up to the test pretty well."

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