Lee Bowyer left fuming after Nottingham Forest scored the equalizing goal in the 98th minute against Birmingham

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Birmingham 1-1 Nottingham Forest: Lewis Grabban’s 98-minute penalty cancels Marc Roberts’ opener and leaves Blues boss Lee Bowyer furious

  • Marc Roberts opened the scoring for Birmingham early in the second half
  • He thought his hit would slide Blues 12 points ahead of the bottom three
  • That was until substitute Lewis Grabban struck with an equalizing goal in the 98th minute

Lee Bowyer was left furious after a ‘ridiculous and embarrassing’ 98-minute penalty decision denied him the opportunity to be the first Birmingham manager since 1989 to win their first four home league matches.

Lewis Grabban’s stoppage time spot kick undid Marc Roberts’ header in the second half to earn a point for Nottingham Forest and deny Bowyer a fifth clean clear in a row.

“It has never been a penalty,” Bowyer said. ‘Never. This happens too often in this division. Too often civil servants get it wrong and nothing happens. They guess. They get away with it.

Lee Bowyer was furious after Nottingham Forest was awarded a very late penalty

Lewis Grabban earned Forest a point at St Andrew's after scoring an equalizing goal in the 98th minute

Lewis Grabban earned Forest a point at St Andrew’s after scoring an equalizing goal in the 98th minute

The second half substitute Grabban is celebrating with his teammates after his fifth of the season

The second half substitute Grabban is celebrating with his teammates after his fifth of the season

‘They mess with people’s lives. My players have just given their all – they earn three points. It’s ridiculous and embarrassing. ‘

The former Charlton boss joined with 10 games to go and while the mid-season management changes are often mocked, it looks like a smart decision, despite his anger at only signing on Wednesday night.

It means Birmingham is 10 points away from 22nd-seeded Rotherham – the difference was only three when Bowyer took over – and it pretty much guarantees safety.

Marc Roberts had put Birmingham ahead with a towering header from Ivan Sanchez's corner

Marc Roberts had put Birmingham ahead with a towering header from Ivan Sanchez’s corner

Birmingham lost a string of chances on either side to take the lead via Roberts’ towering header from the corner of Ivan Sanchez in the 49th minute.

Chris Hughton’s side created next to nothing, but from a late angle, Lukas Jutkiewicz was judged a foul on Scott McKenna in the area, who converted substitute Grabban.

“My assistants are adamant it was punishment,” Hughton said. “It’s a good point for us.”

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