Match Report It’s been eight years since Everton last failed to register a win in any of their opening three Premier League matches. That season, under Roberto Martinez, the Blues struggled to poke their head above 10th place and eventually finished 11th; the year before, when they also took four games before coming up with a victory, they almost ended up in the Champions League. Of course, in 2013, Romelu Lukaku was still to arrive before the transfer deadline and this year Everton are in even more desperate need of someone capable of putting the ball in the back of the net on a regular basis. There are 11 days left of the current window but eight points have already slipped away as that urgent need up front remains unaddressed. Today against Nottingham Forest, Everton at least began the game with a recognised centre-forward on the pitch, even if most supporters agree that Salomon Rondon shouldn’t really be near the starting XI. The Venezuelan provided a much-needed focal point at times and had one chance that narrowly missed Dean Henderson’s right-hand post but he lasted just 57 minutes before Frank Lampard reverted to the winger-heavy formation that had failed to pick up anything against Chelsea and Aston Villa in the opening two games. Demarai Gray would provide some crucial cutting edge and composure late on to grab a draw but question marks linger over the manager’s adherence to a 3-4-3 formation and the decision to withdraw Tom Davies rather than leave the midfielder on in a 4-4-2 that would have afforded Alex Iwobi more license to drive forward and provided raw home debutant Amadou Onana some stability alongside him. From that tactical perspective, this match didn’t reflect well on Lampard whose side rather lost their cohesion in the middle after Davies went off and Forest were able to exploit the space, especially following the introduction off their bench of Morgan Gibbs-White. Onana again had a madcap few minutes after he was introduced. The gangly Belgian had marked his first appearance with a mistake in midfield that yielded a goal for Aston Villa last weekend and he got himself into trouble within minutes of coming on again when he picked up a yellow card for a bizarre rugby-style tackle on Lewis O’Brien. After that he largely disappeared, apart from an ambitious but wayward shot from distance while Everton were forced to frantically chase the game in the closing stages and, to a degree, Jordan Pickford’s sublime link-up with Gray for the 88th-minute equaliser papered over some glaring cracks. Lampard would have been comforted by the fact that Everton had started the game well, with a dangerous early free-kick from Gray flashing past three blue jerseys in front of Henderson and Tom Davies missing the target when well placed after 10 minutes. Anthony Gordon, largely the hosts’ most dangerous player on the day until Gray scored apart from Iwobi behind him who was excellent on his 100th appearance for the club, had a 25-yard attempt parried away a few minutes later before Gray himself had a tame effort saved by the keeper. Forest started coming into the game midway through the first half, however, after Everton’s initial fire had been extinguished and Nico Williams warmed Pickford’s hands with a strong drive. Then, after an uncharacteristic mistake by the out-of-sorts James Tarkowski, Taiwo Awoniyi had a chance but shot weakly and Pickford was able to claim it and Orel Mangala was similarly unable to really test the Blues’ keeper from a similar distance. At the other end, Gordon and Gray both had further sights of goal from just outside the box but both despatched efforts into the Park End. Rondon had toiled up front but at least offered a focal point at times and when Davies fed him with a neat pass early in the second half, the Venezuelan turned his marker and fizzed a shot inches wide of the post from the edge of the box. Perhaps due to concerns over his fitness, Rondon was withdrawn along with Davies five minutes later, a double change that saw Dwight McNeil and Onana enter the fray for what was the latter’s home debut. Meanwhile, Everton occasionally threatened, first when a Gray free-kick tested Henderson at his near post and required the keeper to push the ball away to safety and then when the busy Alex Iwobi and Gray combined with the latter forcing another save, this time a one-hander to palm the ball behind. Back at the Park End, Yates’s shot took a heavy deflection off Coady and, thankfully, bounced wide with Pickford wrong-footed and Williams drilled an effort narrowly past the far post as the visitors threatened. Then, after Gordon’s lame effort had been easily gathered at one end, Forest scored at the other. Pickford got down to parry Yates’s strong shot but it fell to Johnson and the Welsh forward calmly picked his spot to stroke it into the opposite corner of the goal. A goalmouth melée in which Gray, Gordon and McNeil all had shots blocked by a thicket of red shirts seemed to sum up the way Everton’s afternoon was doomed to end but a moment of inspiration from Pickford set Gray up to plunder a point whereupon the former Leicester man made no mistake with excellent touch and a cool finish. There was still time for a late charge for all three points after Yates had belted a first-time shot over for Forest but Gordon had one more shot from the angle stopped, Iwobi whipped a shot onto the roof of the net and Gordon almost capitalised on a mistake by Joe Worral but the ball wouldn’t come down quickly enough for him to beat Henderson who had come to the edge of his area to make the block. It’s still early days, the window is still open, but it’s hard not to feel uneasy even at this stage about Everton’s prospects for the season, particularly if they aren’t able to add more quality to the side before the deadline. There were flashes of the kind of side they can be but, as was the case so many times last season, once their early intensity waned and the opposition were able to gain a foothold in the contest, you were left with the feeling that it was anyone’s game rather than Everton, at Goodison, having the upper hand. That may change once Dominic Calvert-Lewin is fit again and, hopefully, striking reinforcements have through the door but it feels like the campaign is going to be another nervous slog unless Lampard is able to fashion a more potent, fluid and self-confident team from the players at his disposal. Lyndon Lloyd top Matchday Updates Everton hosted Nottingham Forest for the first time in 23 years and battled to a late goal that secured their first point of a massively underwhelming season so far.Frank Lampard significantly choose Anthony Gordon to lead the line, but this time alongside Rondon. Onana was left on the bench along with Dwight McNeil, who has been poor. Allan did not start but Davies was selected for midfield. Not a single young academy U21 player was even on the bench. The visitors go things underway. Gordon was fouled on his first involvement, a free-kick wide left that Gray delivered in superbly and Davies completely missed a gaping open goal. Rondon could not get himself onside in the next attack. Pickford took his time on a free kick and Everton played it slowly out of the back until Gordon forced a corner, Gordon trying to be too clever in the subsequent phase. Gordon gave up a soft free-kick, allowing Forest to play one in deep... too deep, over the byline. Everton were recovering possession well and from Gordon's pass into space Davies tried a rash shot that screwed wide, unreasonable to expect anything better. Patterson got forward but badly overhit his looping cross behind the goal. Gordon made space for a beer shot that glanced off a defender, forcing a diving save from Henderson, then Gray tried o squeeze a weak shot inside the post, then Rondon tried and failed to connect. Davies go into a great position but chose to play in Rondon, while he was thinking of something else altogether. It had been a good spell for the Blues but absolutely nothing to show for it. Forest saw more of the ball, Johnson invited to shoot and then William testing Pickford. Again, Worrall fouled, this time Gray, and saw a deserved yellow. Again Gray finds Davies with a fine ball in o the far post where the Everon completely messed it up yet again when all he should have done is score. At the other end, Tarkowski had his pocket picked and Johnson seemed to have too much time, failed to score with defenders getting in his way. Bu Forest took more control, with Everton unable to play out from the back. When they did get forward, Mykolenko was fouled and William shown yellow. Gray delivered a great ball to the near post where Coady tried o make contact, forcing a corner. In the second phase, Gray tried to curl one in but it was always going over. Forest were gifted the ball at the other end, Tarkowski giving the ball away very cheaply but Forest wanted acres of space and time that they were not being granted and they failed to capitalize. Gray broke forward and forced a corner that he swung in but only into a crowd of red shirts. Iwobi was called for a deliberate handball. Tarkowski again missed a crucial ball, letting Forest attack and it was Keystone Cops defending that just won out. Gordon overlapped on a good run but could not beat Henderson to the overhit ball. Forest got a corner that Tarkowski headed out but the return ball needed punching out by Pickford. Another free-kick, wide right this time, was not delivered well by Gray. More crazy midfield play gifted the ball back to Forest but again they could not really threaten. When Everton did counter, the attack stuttered until Gray made good space only to shoot waywardly over the Forest goal. A strange half of lively football but really poor in quality, with half-chances not taken by either side. No changes, of course, as the home side restarted. Davies got some good possession but failed to shoot or pass and Paerson eventually looped his cross into Henderson's welcoming arms. Scrappy play ensued, with neither side able o retain possession. But Everton got a free-kick for shirt tugging, which Gray sent in for Henderson to grasp. Another Iwobi pass was on a different plane than Gray but Gordon played in Rondon who turned well and fired just wide. Probably the best piece of football so far! Gordon then got more space but spoilt it by playing straight to a defender. Gray did well to get forward and cross in low but it was 4 feet ahead of Rondon. Changes then from Lampard, Onano hopelessly lost the ball and hilariously tried to rugby-tackle his man: Yellow Card! An utterly ridiculous moment! Onana hen clumsily fouled O'Brien and Forest demanded a second yellow, not forthcoming, but instead a dangerous free-kick that Williams scooped high over Pickford's goal. Gray did well at the other end but his layback to Onana was carelessly wellied over the Forest goal. McNeil got forward but his cross was beating nobody. But Everton won a corner that went through a crowd. Henderson needed treatment. Iwobi found Gordon who turned well and tried for the far corner, his shot parried well by Henderson, it needed to be twice as hard or top corner to score. But nothing from the ensuing corner wasted by McNeil. An Everton free-kick was put in well by Gray but parried by Henderson and the chance was gone. Coady somehow almost scored an own-goal a the other end, his deflection screwing wide. Gibbs-White drove in an excellent cross from the left that Coady half-cleared, and Williams fired a shot across Pickford's goal. Gordon danced and shimmied into the area and worked space well for the shot but nowhere near enough power or guile to beat Henderson. Onana was struggling terribly with the pace of the play around him. McNeil should have found Gordon with a breakout pass but totally failed, as Forest saw more of the ball, with a shot from Yates parried by Pickford direct to Johnson who made no mistake to give Forest the lead in the last 10 minutes. Onana somehow won a free-kick but Gray's delivery was terrible, however on the second phase it was Loony Tunes attacking as the ball pinged around the Forest area, no-one able to connect and half a dozen chances all go begging. Or was it good defending by Forest? However. out of nothing, a brilliant ball over the top from Pickford and Gray did everything that was required of him, to slide it under Henderson after a superb first touch.With a buoyant atmosphere inside Goodison, Everton went up and won a corner but Gray sent it in straight to Henderson. However, Everton won the second phase and Gordon had a shot that Henderson had to punch back out. Everton worked it around to Iwobi whose shot was a foot over the bar. Everton pushed into the last 4 minutes and Gordon got past Worrall but lacked the skill to scoop it over the advancing Henderson. And that was the final action of a very lively game that only confirms Everton's tremendous difficulty in scoring goals – even when they get a whole host of chances!Everton: Pickford, Patterson, Holgate, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Davies (57' Onana [Y:60']), Iwobi [Y:35'], Gordon, Gray, Rondon (58' McNeil). Subs not Used: Begovic, Keane, Allan, Dele, Coleman, Gbamin, Vinagre.Nottingham Forest: Henderson, Worrall [Y:18'], Cook, McKenna, Williams [Y:29'], Mangala (55' Yates), O’Brien, Toffolo, Lingard (83' Kouyate), Johnson, Awoniyi (61' Gibbs-White).Subs not Used: Freuler, Dennis, Biancone, Hennessey, Surridge, Mighten.Referee: Andre MarrinerVAR: Attendance: 39,271 Michael Kenrick top A draw was a fair result The last time I saw Alan in Merseyside was six years ago, he was over from Dublin for a stag do. He wasn’t an Evertonian then. Fast forward to now and his son Cian, at 12 years old, is a massive Evertonian. “Why did you become an Evertonian, Cian?” I asked, given neither his mother or father have that allegiance. “When he went to watch Ireland games when he was younger, there was Seamus Coleman, Darron Gibson and Aiden McGeady all playing for the Irish. So with all those Everton players in the squad he simply loved Everton,” interrupted Alan. “And I promised him I’d take him to Goodison Park, so here we are. We wanted to do this a few years ago but couldn’t due to Covid”. It was a great catch-up with Alan, his wife Judy and Cian over a couple of beers and some food at The Excelsior. “I’m now a converted Evertonian myself,” finished Alan.My son Elliot came along also for only his fourth Everton match. Due to the industrial action, train travel was disjointed, so we all piled into a hackney cab and got out just near the Dixie Dean statue. It was about 2:15 pm by this point and we all eventually went separate ways, Dan and Alfie into the Top Balcony; Alan and Cian into the Family Enclosure; and poor Elliot, accompanying me in the raucous Lower Gwladys Street. “When will everyone sit down?” he asked some 15 minutes into the match as he tired of standing on his seat. I hate to break it to you, mate…By this point, Everton were as frustrating as they were encouraging. There were some very good moments when you felt we were just opening the door, though also times when you were aghast at how easily Nottingham Forest were finding a way through us. It was an entertaining match, ably assisted by a quite brilliant refereeing performance by Andre Marriner, who let the game flow throughout. Credit where it's due.We had plenty of moments around the Nottingham Forest penalty area, and Dean Henderson was certainly kept busy enough throughout, but so too were Everton’s defence and Jordan Pickford was also required to make saves. The wind was in our faces in the first half, which hampered James Tarkowski more than most. We got into the break all square which was about right, but there was enough there to make you think Everton might take the points.I’d say that, in the second half, we were largely on top, but credit to Nottingham Forest, they kept on coming back. Lewis O’Brien and Brennan Johnson were particularly impressive and seem very capable of transitioning up to the Premier League, which is nice to see. Salomon Rondon came particularly close to scoring with a trademark low half volley which just drifted wide of the post… the drifting wide of the post also a bit of a trademark. He’d been pretty effective had Salomon, though I don’t think a change up top was a bad decision. Dwight McNeil made a decent introduction and the ball over the top, aided by the wind, was causing havoc time and again, including our goal of course. Yes, I’d rather we’d had a good striker to use, but the reality is we haven’t, so that was a good change-up.I was baffled however by the other half of the double substitution. Tom Davies played well. He made countless interceptions and tackles and was positive on the ball. I wasn’t against Amadou Onana’s introduction; he needs opportunities and game time, but putting him on and removing a holding midfielder who was playing well was madness. We should have withdrawn one of our three centre-backs and gone four at the back, kept Tom where he was, allow Amadou to get into the game, and unleash the mercurial Alex Iwobi further up the pitch. With three pacey runners, he could have caused havoc.Instead, Amadou put himself in trouble almost instantly. In a defensive position, he was quickly pounced on, which resulted in a dangerous Nottingham Forest attack which was thankfully exstinguished. He got a yellow card for his troubles and shortly after he could and, with a less lenient official would, have had his marching orders, and we could have had no complaints.Nottingham Forrest grew in confidence and Everton were warned when Ryan Yates nearly scored with the help of a huge deflection, and then Nico Williams thrashed wide shortly after. Everton kept on probing but you felt the goal was coming for Nottingham Forest and, sure enough, it did when Ryan Yates’s drive was parried by Jordan Pickford, and in what almost felt like slow-motion, Brennan Johnson slotted in to give the visitors what felt at the time like a winner. Jordan certainly should have done better for me.Credit to the lads though for scrapping hard and dragging themselves back into the game. Quite how we didn’t score amongst that crazy scramble, I'm not sure. However, Jordan Pickford made amends for his error with a quite brilliant pass for Demarai Gray to take the ball on and slot coolly past Dean Henderson. Everton were level with time still on the clock.And in that time, both teams nearly scored. Ryan Yates thrashed a volley over the crossbar which would have been some goal had he connected well, and then at the death, Anthony Gordon nearly nicked the points for Everton when he nipped in following some poor defending from Joe Worrall. Anthony tried to dink it over Dean Henderson but couldn’t get it past him. And that was pretty much it. On balance, I’d say a draw was fair as Nottingham Forest contributed a lot to the game. And to be fair, I was quite grateful for the draw at the end as it could have been a lot worse. We had plenty of chances and I wish for once we’d get the first goal, as I think we could see games out with the defenders we have. As it is, we’re always chasing the game at some point. Once we get this striker position fixed, I’m confident results will come pretty quick. I don’t feel we need to change an awful lot otherwise, though I wish we would show more adaptability in defence. Do we really need three centre-backs at home to Nottingham Forest? Would changing that to a 4-3-3 really be too much to ask in a ploy to force the game? It feels like it's three centre-backs no matter what, which I don’t really understand.Following the game, we met Alan and Cian at the statue and bid our farewells. It’s always great to meet Evertonians from overseas, and this was no exception.Hopefully next time they come, they may even take 3 points back with them.Player ratings:Jordan Pickford: He dealt with most of what came his way pretty well, but was culpable for Nottingham Forest’s goal, though I guess you could ask where the defenders were? But at least he made amends with a quite brilliant assist. And the commentator on Match of the Day was right. Had Ederson have played that pass, you’d never hear the end of it. 6James Tarkowski: I’m not convinced it’s the greatest idea to bring Conor Coady in to play at the heart of the defence if it means shifting James to left-side centre-back. His performance against Chelsea, bang in the centre was colossal. I’m not saying Conor is a bad defender or anything like that, but I’m not sure it’s the best move if he can only play in the middle of a back three, because from today’s evidence, and granted it was windy, some players just can’t hack the wind. And James is not half the player on the left as he is in the heart of the defence. 5Conor Coady: He shouts a lot and he gets rave reviews about his character, which is obviously good. However, I’m yet to see this world-class defender everyone was so excited about. Though he has only had two games and needs more time, of course. 6Mason Holgate: I thought he was the pick of the centre-backs. He also got forward well and made some important tackles. 7Vitalii Mykolenko: He’s a handy defender and very committed, though if we’re to persist with this system, I’d really like to see a more attack-minded full-back (ie, Ruben Vinagre). Particularly with the opportunity to use five substitutes now, it feels we could have given him more minutes. Surely he’ll start at Fleetwood Town on Tuesday evening. 6Nathan Patterson: Probably the least effective of his three games so far this season, but he’s certainly suited to the right-wingback role and should be kept in the team. 6Tom Davies: He was doing very well and I can’t understand why he was substituted. I also can’t understand the attitude towards Tom. If he does something good, it almost feels like the crowd make a noise like “Ah, that was OK I suppose”, though if certain other players do a similar thing, it's roundly applauded. That said, he was given a good reception as he left the pitch which was pleasing. The Goodison crowd know a good performance when they see one. 7Alex Iwobi: We might as well give him player of the season already. Had that chip have gone in, it would have brought the house down. If we can get him further forward, I’m convinced we’d be creating a lot of opportunities, particularly once our forward line has been remedied. My Man of the Match. 8Demarai Gray: Not everything he did worked and most of his set-plays were questionable, but he kept on going and was a constant thorn down Nottingham Forest’s right side. He took his goal incredibly well. A good effort overall, and a marked improvement on the last home game. 7Anthony Gordon: He represented our biggest goal threat throughout, which begins to make me wonder if selling him is actually the best thing to do. I guess it depends on how much a difference selling him will make to who we can bring in. His finishing wasn’t on-song, and end product is the issue, as we know, but it's something that can get better. Two second-half efforts - one the shimmy and drive from the edge of the box; the other the dribble into the penalty area and low drive, were both the correct plans, just wrong execution. The chance late on – I bet if he had the chance to do it again he’d have chosen a different option. He represents our biggest goal threat right now, and like Frank said in his press conference on Friday – wouldn’t it be better if we could have both - Anthony Gordon and a good striker to compete with Dominic? I could get on board with that. 7Salomon Rondon: Salomon did quite well and was a good presence. I still think the change in attack was a good one, I just wish we had made the other substitution differently. It was a good effort from Salomon in all, and he was a shade unlucky not to give us the lead. 6Substitutes:Dwight McNeil (for Salomon Rondon): He began quite well but generally faded, though I think my opinion is swayed by that quite terrible corner kick he put into the side netting. 5Amadou Onana (for Tom Davies): It was the wrong substitution and he struggled with the defensive aspect of what he was asked to do and was lucky to stay on the pitch. He needs time. 5 Paul Traill top Match Preview Everton host Nottingham Forest for the first time in 23 years this weekend as the newly-promoted club travel to Goodison Park for the third fixture of the 2022-23 campaign.The two clubs last met in January 1999 when a solitary Pierre van Hooijdonk goal proved to be the difference between for the Midlanders who were rock bottom of the Premier League at the time and heading for an extended stay in the Championship. This time it's the Toffees who are in the relegation zone in the fledgeling League table having lost both of their opening games while Forest got off the mark last weekend against more fancied West Ham with a 1-0 win at the City Ground.For Everton, Frank Lampard will be without Abdoulaye Doucouré for around three weeks after the midfielder injured a hamstring in last weekend's defeat at Aston Villa.The Mali international was withdrawn during the second half of that game after feeling tightness in the muscle that was later diagnosed as slight damage by scans that will sideline him until early September.There was good news regarding Allan, however. The Brazilian, who hasn't played yet this season after recovering from surgery over the summer and then taking a knock to the foot in training, is available again and can step into midfield if the manager doesn't elect to start new signing Amadou Onana."Allan's fit and he's in the squad," Lampard confirmed, "He's missed games in pre-season so we're trying to get him match fit and Doucouré's going to be about three weeks." “He’s certainly in contention and that’s a call I need to make and I’m giving it as long as I possibly can before the game tomorrow because as much as we want his impact — and I think he’s going to have a big impact — we need to make sure we do right by the player and the team.The manager was circumspect on Amadou Onana's chances of making his full debut in midfield following his arrival from Lille 10 days ago, even though the young Belgian international made an exciting came off the bench last weekend and Doucouré's absence will leave him short in that part of the pitch.“He missed a big chunk of pre-season and this is the Premier League and I don’t want to throw him there in too soon," Lampard said of Onana. "I want to use him at the right time and [give him] the right minutes so that’s something we’ll be managing over the next couple of weeks — we don’t want an injury situation either so it’s important to get that one right for the longer picture.”With neither Allan nor Onana sufficiently match fit, it's possible that Tom Davies could be given a starting role after deputising for Doucouré in competent fashion against Villa, with Alex Iwobi reprising his role as a No.8 alongside him. The duo would, presumably, play in front of a back five that is likely to be unchanged.Meanwhile, Dominic Calvert-Lewin returned to running on grass ahead of schedule earlier this week as he works his way back from the knee injury that has ruled him out of the early-season fixtures.The striker's absence combined with a worrying lack of progress on the transfer front where forward players are concerned has left Everton desperately short of firepower. Lucas Digne's own goal at Villa Park last weekend was the only goal they have scored so far this season and unless Lampard is confident that Salomon Rondon is fit enough and sharp enough to lead the line, it could be a case of same again up front, with Anthony Gordon, Dwight McNeil and Demarai Gray. Forest travel as a largely unknown quantity given the dizzying amount of players that have come through the door during the close season. In Morgan Gibbs-White they are hoping to land their 16th signing of the summer, with a £15m deal for Brighton's Neil Maupay also reportedly in the works.That takes there spending well past the £100m mark but all those incomings also make it difficult to assess Forest as opponents for this one so early in the campaign and with the new players just bedding in.Steve Cooper's side looked vulnerable and somewhat over-awed in the face of Newcastle's intensity on the opening day at St James's Park where they were comfortably beaten 2-0 and if Everton can start well and get the Goodison crowd behind them then they can hopefully have enough to compensate for the glaring lack of firepower up front. At the very least, if Onana doesn't start, if Lampard's men can keep things tight until a good way into the second half, the Belgian could, along with Allan, provide the necessary drive that he showed in midfield on his debut to help get the team over the line. Kickoff: 3pm, Saturday 20 August, 2022Referee: Andre MarrinerVAR: Tony HarringtonLast Time: Everton 0 - 1 Nottingham Forest (Jan 1999)Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Holgate, Coady, Tarkowski, Patterson, Mykolenko, Davies, Iwobi, McNeil, Gordon, Gray Lyndon Lloyd top * Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.