Middlesbrough are still searching for their first win under Gordon Strachan after Nottingham Forest fought back to claim a deserved 1-1 draw at the Riverside Stadium.

Forest went into the game as the only side in all four English divisions without an away defeat, but looked set to lose that record following Leroy Lita's early strike.

The former England Under-21 international was on hand to fire home a rebound after Julio Arca's shot had been parried by Lee Camp.

But Forest responded well after the interval and levelled when substitute Rob Earnshaw curled home a delightful free-kick with 17 minutes remaining.

Although the Teessiders led for much of the match, they can have few complaints with the result having created little throughout.

And were it not for a handful of fine saves by Brad Jones, the hosts could have tasted a third straight defeat under Strachan.

Boro handed a debut to new loan signing Dave Kitson following his arrival from Stoke earlier in the week.

Kitson partnered former Reading team-mate Lita in attack, while fellow loanee Isaiah Osbourne was also handed his home debut in midfield.

Visiting boss Billy Davies made just one change to the Forest side that drew with Bristol City last time out, with Dele Adebola replacing Radoslaw Majewski.

There were few glimpses of quality in a dreadful opening period that saw both sides surrender possession far too cheaply.

However, one of the rare clear-cut chances saw Boro take the lead in the fifth minute.

Adam Johnson broke down the left before cutting the ball back for Arca and Lita pounced after the Argentinian's shot had been palmed away by Camp.

Forest threatened for the first time in the 16th minute, although Guy Moussi's 20-yarder was comfortably kept out by Jones.

Soon after, Boro's Emmanuel Pogatetz - playing with a mask to protect a fractured cheekbone - was forced off for further treatment following a clash of heads, but the Austrian was able to continue.

The visitors saw appeals for a penalty waved away shortly after the half hour as David McGoldrick tumbled under pressure from Sean St Ledger.

McGoldrick should have equalised for Forest on the stroke of half-time following a neat through ball from Adebola, but the former Southampton man was superbly denied by the onrushing Jones.

Forest started the second half brightly and came close again in the 50th minute as a swift counter attack ended with Joe Garner seeing a goalbound shot blocked amid shouts for handball.

Two minutes later, Garner tried his luck again from 20 yards, but Jones reacted well to tip the shot around the post.

Boro's Australian goalkeeper came to the rescue again in the 56th minute, as he kept out a left-footed effort from Paul Anderson.

Kitson was then replaced by Marcus Bent, while Forest introduced Earnshaw in place of the luckless McGoldrick.

And it was Earnshaw who levelled with a sublime free-kick in the 73rd minute following a handball by David Wheater.

Both sides pushed for three points late on, with Boro's Rhys Williams coming closest with a rising 30-yarder, but there was to be no winner.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
#Paul Anderson
#Guy Moussi
#Dele Adebola
#Reading
#Stoke City
#Bristol City
#Football
#Sean St Ledger
#David McGoldrick
#Championship
#Southampton
#Lee Camp
#Joe Garner
#Gordon Strachan
#Marcus Bent
#Nottingham Forest
#Julio Arca
#Radoslaw Majewski
#David Wheater
#Middlesbrough
#Isaiah Osbourne
#Leroy Lita
#Dave Kitson
#Brad Jones
#Rhys Williams
#Adam Johnson
#Anderson