Kinnear on Forest tightrope

Nottingham Forest 2 Rotherham United 2
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The Independent Football

Joe Kinnear's position as Nottingham Forest manager remains vulnerable after his side's failure to see off Rotherham denied them an escape from the bottom three of the Championship last night. It could have been worse for him, however, had Forest not mounted a face-saving fightback to overcome a 2-0 half-time deficit.

Joe Kinnear's position as Nottingham Forest manager remains vulnerable after his side's failure to see off Rotherham denied them an escape from the bottom three of the Championship last night. It could have been worse for him, however, had Forest not mounted a face-saving fightback to overcome a 2-0 half-time deficit.

None the less, scraping only a point against winless, bottom of the table Rotherham - reduced to 10 men for the last 27 minutes - is unlikely to bring better than temporary relief.

Beaten at home by Watford last Saturday amid growing fears that they would become anchored in the bottom three, Forest could not have imagined a poorer first half.

Rotherham took a 19th-minute lead and doubled it eight minutes later, leaving the City Ground stunned into silence, save for a chorus of disgruntled protest chants aimed at the club's multi-millionaire chairman, the venture capitalist, Nigel Doughty.

Chris Sedgwick gave the South Yorkshire side the upper hand, rising to meet Paul Hurst's cross from the left with a looping far post header over and beyond goalkeeper Paul Gerrard's reach.

Gerrard was beaten again by Junior, the Brazilian-born striker on loan from Derby, who delivered his first goal in Rotherham colours with a precise left-foot strike from 15 yards after Shaun Barker's pass had put him clear.

In contrast to Kinnear, Rotherham manager Ronnie Moore's position appears to be fireproof despite the worst start to a season in the club's history. There had been talk of a dream ticket partnership of Bryan Robson and Paul Gascoigne linked to a proposed takeover, but that deal collapsed at the 11th hour. In any event, after keeping Rotherham in the second tier for a fourth season against the odds, Moore's popularity with supporters remains undiminished.

Clearly, however, this side is a fragile one. Having seen a 2-0 lead overturned in a 3-2 defeat at Derby on Saturday, Moore watched helplessly last night as the advantage was again cancelled out.

Put under pressure at the end of the first half the visitors cracked seven minutes into the second period, David Johnson diving to glance home Andy Reid's cross.

Marlon King levelled the scores from the penalty spot nine minutes later after an incident that earned Junior a red card, the striker judged to have denied Johnson a goalscoring opportunity when he hauled the Forest man over practically in the six-yard box, after a Reid free-kick had ricocheted to his feet.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Gerrard; Louis-Jean, Morgan, Dawson, Rogers; Impey (Commons, h-t), Thompson, Evans (Jess, 80), Reid; King, Johnson. Substitutes not used: Roche (gk), Robertson, Perch.

Rotherham United (4-4-2): Pollitt; Stockdale, Swailes, Hurst, McIntosh; Sedgwick (Warne, 87), S Barker, McLaren, Scott; R Barker, Junior. Substitutes not used: Montgomery (gk), Gilchrist, Proctor, Mullin.

Referee: B Curson (Leicester).

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