Ten-man Nottingham Forest hold on for point against Birmingham
Skipper Matt Mills rescued a point for 10-man Nottingham Forest as they stretched their unbeaten run to 10 games in a niggly 1-1 draw with Birmingham at the City Ground.
Jon Toral scored his fifth goal of the season, with a stunning diving header, to hand Blues the lead midway through the first half, but Mills responded with a powerful nodded effort himself five minutes later to secure a point for the Reds.
Forest ended the game with 10 men as David Vaughan was shown a controversial straight red card for a 74th-minute challenge on Clayton Donaldson, but City were not able to capitalise on the one-man advantage.
Both sides made seven changes to their starting line-ups following the FA Cup third round weekend, with Slovenia international Bojan Jokic making his full debut for Forest following his recent loan move from Villarreal.
The Reds nearly made a 10th-minute breakthrough when Stephen Gleeson's wayward pass was cut out by Ben Osborn and the diminutive midfielder strode forward and drove a low effort from the edge of the box that struck Tomas Kuszczak's right-hand post.
The ball was whipped back in and there was Chris O'Grady, who got down low but could only nod the ball into Kuszczak's grateful arms.
It was Birmingham, though, who provided the game's opening goal in the 24th minute, when Toral brilliantly met Paul Caddis' pinpoint cross to send a diving header past Dorus De Vries into the bottom corner.
The lead only lasted five minutes as Mills headed Vaughan's free-kick - given for a shove on striker Nelson Oliveira - powerfully into the top corner.
Former Blues loanee Robert Tesche volleyed straight at Kuszczak as the match started to get tetchy. Oliveira and Ryan Mendes were both booked for the hosts, while Forest boss Dougie Freedman was given a talking to by referee Mark Brown for protesting too vehemently at Mendes' caution.
The tension was cranked up a notch after the break when goalscorer Toral entered the notebook for scything down Osborn, before the Forest man nearly sliced Jacques Maghoma's cross into his own net as he attempted to clear.
Toral was then given acres of space 25 yards from goal, but the woodwork rescued goalkeeper De Vries as he could only stand and watch as the Spaniard's effort pinged against his right-hand upright and away to safety.
Maghoma was denied a shot on goal from close range as Jokic made a crucial block, before Forest were reduced to 10 men when Vaughan was shown a straight red for a foot-high challenge to the head of Blues frontman Donaldson.
Maikel Kieftenbeld sent an effort straight at De Vries from long range and Forest went straight down the other end where sub Jamie Ward's deep cross almost had Kuszczak in trouble, but the Polish keeper clawed away the danger.
And right at the death, sub Oliver Burke almost won it for Forest, but blazed his effort over the bar.