Jay Rodriguez’s penalty means he has 17 league goals this season, one more than strike partner Dwight Gayle

Jay Rodriguez scored a controversial late penalty as West Bromwich Albion twice came from behind to earn a draw against fellow-promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest at The Hawthorns.

Baggies striker Dwight Gayle went down easily in the box following minimal contact from Reds defender Alexander Milosevic and Rodriguez calmly converted his 17th league goal of the season.

Forest, who drop to five points off the play-off places, had a deserved half-time lead when a miscued Ryan Yates strike following a slick team move was unluckily deflected into his own net by Stefan Johansen.

But a much-improved home side upped the tempo in the second period and, after Rekeem Harper’s sublime volley hit the bar, Jacob Murphy’s first Albion goal made it 1-1 following an almighty goalmouth scramble.

Ryan Yates appeared to have won all three points when he struck home after a neat lay-off by Lewis Grabban.

But Rodriguez kept his composure amid furious Forest protests following referee Lee Mason’s spot-kick decision to move the Baggies to within four points of second-placed Leeds.

Even more controversy followed when Forest had strong shouts for a penalty of their own in injury-time as Joe Lolley had his shirt tugged by Kieran Gibbs in the box.

But Mason ignored calls for a second penalty, meaning Forest have now not won away from home in the league in seven matches.

West Bromwich Albion head coach Darren Moore told BBC WM:

“I’m delighted with the point because tonight’s performance was a bit lethargic. Maybe for the first time, is that the volume of games that we’ve been playing in the Championship?

“The only reason I say that is because all 11 were off colour tonight.

“But we kept on right to the end and that determination won us a point.”

Nottingham Forest manager Martin O’Neill told BBC Radio Nottingham:

“Naturally we thought it was a dive. The ref has made an honest mistake. I have spoken to him and he said that’s what he thought he saw.

“It would have been a terrific result away from home against a side vying for automatic promotion.

“It was also a clear penalty [on Joe Lolley]. It’s disappointing, but we played well. Our first goal was a delight.

“Overall I was delighted with the team. Physically they made a big, big effort They worked exceptionally hard. I’m disappointed for them and I’m disappointed for the fans.”

Ryan Yates was involved in both Forest goals

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