Awoniyi outshines Dennis despite coming on late as Forest rescue point at the death against Brentford

Taiwo Awoniyi was on the pitch for less than 15 minutes but made a bigger impact than his Nigerian compatriot Emmanuel Dennis who played 78 minutes.

  • Awoniyi did more in 12 minutes than Dennis in 78
  • Ex-Union Berlin striker played a crucial role in the equaliser
  • Dennis struggled to get going after being deployed out wide

WHAT HAPPENED? Awoniyi was a late substitute for Nottingham Forest, coming in for Dennis with 12 minutes remaining, but it was from his movement that the home side managed to rescue a 2-2 draw against Brentford.

Dennis missed a close-range header before Morgan Gibbs-White delivered a belter from just outside the box following some silky dribbling skills to inflict the visitors’ 50th conceded goal on the road in just 23 away games.

However, Cameroon forward Bryan Mbeumbo’s well-taken spot-kick restored parity on the stroke of half-time after Ryan Yates went down in the box. A defensive mishap that started with the ball striking Awoniyi before it rebounded in off unlucky Brentford defender Zanka saw Gibbs-White slam it home to make it 2-2.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Dennis was preferred upfront, playing on the left wing, with Gibbs-White through the middle while Brennan Johnson occupied the right side of Forest’s attack.

The former Watford striker, however, struggled in an unfamiliar wide role and managed just one attempt on target before he was taken off for his compatriot Awoniyi with 12 minutes remaining.

Awoniyi’s presence was immediately felt by the Brentford defence as he caused them problems with his movement and he could have equalised in injury time had he not headed just wide after out jumping everyone in the box.

It, was, however from his presence in the box that he prevented Brentford goalkeeper David Raya from claiming a cross which fell into the path of Gibbs-White and the forward’s shot deflected off Zanka to equalise.

The Bees failed to put an end to their dreadful winless streak on the road, narrowly missing out on a first away win at the death. Nottingham, on the other hand, will take inspiration from their last-minute equaliser going forward, as they avoided a ninth defeat this season but they remain bottom of the table.

ALL EYES ON: Awoniyi had started the previous two games, scoring once but he found himself on the bench against the Bees. He, however, impressed when he came on with his movement in the box.

THE VERDICT: The former Union Berlin striker looks like he can be Forest’s main man if he is given a run in the team since defenders seem to struggle with his physical presence.

WHAT’S NEXT? The Nigerian internationals will be hoping to be involved when Forest host Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup on Wednesday before next Saturday’s league clash at home to Crystal Palace.

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