Two goals in the space of a minute brought what had been a rather turgid affair to life, and one by the final whistle Rovers could count themselves unfortunate not to have won.

Rovers needed to issue a response after the defeat to Luton and while they had the better of the play throughout, it wasn’t until the final quarter that they turned up the heat.

But a grandstand finish couldn’t find the elusive winner as the visitors continued their unbeaten start away from home.

Rovers didn’t have chance to build on the platform of Adam Armstrong’s second of the season as Joe Lolley equalised within a minute.

Forest were quick out the blocks and could have led inside the opening minute. Grabban pulled off to the right and crossed for Ribeiro whose header was steered wide, via a deflection, from Lolley.

That wasn’t the lighting of  the touch paper however, when it came to an attacking half of football.

Adam Armstrong was ploughing something of a lone furrow for Rovers going forward, seeing plenty of the ball on the left.

Rovers were looking to isolate him against Matty Cash, and did so to good effect with eight minutes on the watch, but Brice Samba was equal to his low shot from 25 yards.

With Danny Graham and Sam Gallagher on the pitch Armstrong would have had good reason to ask why no-one was attacking his left-wing cross which fizzed across the six yard box but failed to produce a chance.

It was becoming a frustrating watch for both sides who saw promising counter-attacking opportunities snuffed out due to a mixture of lack of imagination or good covering.

A somewhat subdued atmosphere dissipated slightly as Darragh Lenihan went in to the book for a strong challenge on Ribeiro, much to the annoyance of the Rovers management team and home fans.

A sign of the frustration for Rovers attacking players was made clear by Bradley Dack continuing to drop deeper and deeper in a bid to get more involved in the play.

But he was where Rovers would have wanted him in the 26th minute, darting in to the box to meet a Greg Cunningham cross but steered wide of the target.

He suffered the same fate moments later when Forest failed to clear a Rovers corner, but as against Luton, a failure to test the opposition goalkeeper was a source of frustration.

Forest did muster a save out of Christian Walton just before the half hour mark, but he didn’t catch his effort as sweetly as he would have liked after the ball ran kindly from Lewis Travis’ tackle on Samba Sow.

Keen to try and seize the initiative at the start of the second half Rovers won three corners in the first five minutes, but with nothing coming from them, the wait for a clear-cut opening went on.

While Rovers were trying to do the pressing, it was Forest who sounded a warning in the 51st minute as Ben Watson fizzed a shot goalwards that Walton needed to watch just over his bar.

The Rovers fans, who had been chanting his name for much of the opening 58 minutes, got their wish when Joe Rothwell was introduced in place of Gallagher.

That was only after Walton had saved again from Grabban, this a better hit from the edge of the box as Lenihan’s header from an Ameobi cross was up rather than away.

A game that had been a tough watch though was given lift off in the 63rd minute. Armstrong showed pace, to race on to Dack’s through, and then perseverance to open the scoring.

His attempted cut-back was blocked, but the ball fell kindly to him and he squeezed the ball in at the near post.

Rovers had barely finished celebrating however, before Forest got back on level terms as a fizzing Lolley drive was out of the reach of Walton and in to the far corner.

A more open feel was emerging as Joao Carvalho, moments after coming on, found the gloves of Walton with his curling effort before fellow substitute Rothwell snatched at a volley from Armstrong’s cross that went wide of the near post.

Forest were looking stronger on the counter than they had, and the arrival of Albert Adomah would have brought them the lead were it not for a superb covering tackle from Elliott Bennett just as he was about to shoot from six yards.

Rovers made their final changes, bringing on Lewis Holtby and Dominic Samuel as they went in search of a winner.

Rothwell drew a save from Samba with a curling effort and from the resulting corner, the ‘keeper’s juggling act on the line kept out Williams’ header.

It was Rovers who were pressing hard for a late winner, with balls deflecting across the Forest box, none moreso than Downing’s shot followed up by Samuel which was scrambled behind.

Samba parried a Bennett drive, with Rothwell’s follow-up lacking the necessary purchase.