NOTTINGHAM Forest and Reading have been regular competitors over the last decade, having met in nine of the previous 10 seasons, writes James Earnshaw.

With tomorrow’s game at the City Ground fast approaching, we look back at a memorable fixture between the two sides.

Nottingham Forest 3-4 Reading (April 9, 2011)

THE seven-goal thriller on the banks of the Trent was one of the best matches in the Reading's 10-game winning run toward the back end of the 2010/11 season, in which the side reached the play-off final.

It was an open game from the first minute to the last, and it did not take long for the scoring to be opened.

Ian Harte’s curling free kick dipped up and over the wall, and Lee Camp in the Forest net, to give Brian McDermott's men a 20th-minute lead.

The lead did not last long as before half-time Mikele Leigertwood gave away a penalty, and Scottish striker Kris Boyd smashed it low and hard, sending Alex McCarthy the wrong way, to level the scores going into the break.

Shortly after the break current Royal Garath McCleary started a fine move from the halfway line and the ball fell to Welsh star Robert Earnshaw. Following a great dummy run by Earnshaw himself, he slammed it past McCarthy to give the Tricky Trees a 2-1 advantage.

Just three minutes later Reading legend Jem Karacan found himself unmarked on the edge of the box at a corner, and somehow directed a powerful header past Camp from all of 12 yards out to restore parity.

Less than 10 minutes later, and still with only an hour on the clock, another corner was whipped in and reached Andy Griffin at the back post.

The right-back kept his composure to pass to loanee Zurab Khizanishvili who curled in an effort which was parried, but only to fall at the feet of Malian Jimmy Kebe who rifled the ball into the back of the net.

It looked as though that was the end of the scoring and Reading would be going back to Berkshire with a 3-2 win.

However, with two minutes on the clock Hal Robson-Kanu was deemed to have fouled the overlapping full-back deep in the Reading half, and Craig Pawson gave a second penalty.

Lewis McGugan stepped up and coolly drilled his spot-kick into the back of the net to take the score to 3-3.

Most teams at that stage would see the game out and take a point from a difficult away trip, but this team was made of stern stuff and went looking for the fourth, and surely winning, goal.

It came deep into injury-time as Griffin pumped a free-kick quickly to the unmarked Shane Long, who drilled in a low cross, and academy graduate Simon Church managed to nip in and send the large away following into ecstasy behind Camp’s goal.

Pawson eventually blew the whistle to bring to a close what was a pulsating fixture between the two sides, both of which were looking to finish the season in the top six.

Both sides reached the end-of-season play-offs and both sides lost to Swansea City, with Billy Davies’ side being knocked out by the Swans at the semi-final stage and Brendan Rodgers’ team famously beating Royals at Wembley to reach the Premier League.

The rest, as they say, is history.