SOME will say the referee failed to apply common sense.
Some will say the footballing law’s an ass for forcing the man in the middle to crack down when a scorer gets a little carried away.
And some will say an experienced player who had already been booked should have known better than to jump into the crowd while celebrating a goal.
Whatever your view, one thing is sure – when County Durham whistler Nigel Miller sent off Town striker Danny Cadamarteri, the complexion of this match was dramatically changed.
Booked for a foul on Forest right-back Luke Chambers in the sixth minute, Cadamarteri saw another yellow card, then a red, in the 67th.
He’d just given Town a deserved lead with a sweet left-foot shot past goalkeeper Paul Smith, but it proved to be his last touch of an entertaining game.
Having endured a frustrating start to his Town career as a hamstring tear kept him out of the first eight games of the campaign, this was the 27-year-old’s second goal in as many starts.
That, as well as the fact that he’s a naturally ebullient character, would suggest there was no malice in his charge towards – and into – a posse of Town fans on the front row of the Riverside Stand lower tier.
But the rules on ‘over-celebration’ are clear, and Mr Miller applied them.
Cadamarteri ran disconsolately down the tunnel, boos rained down from the home supporters in a season’s-high crowd of 10,994 (1,915 from Nottingham), and in an instant, a good deal of the gloss of the goal was stripped away.
Forest, who hadn’t been breached in their three previous League I games, knew the pendulum had unexpectedly swung back their way, and probably finished the game, which included a nerve-jangling four minutes of time added on, disappointed they didn’t add to substitute Kris Common’s sweetly-struck 76th-minute equaliser.
Strangely, having seen what had just happed to Cadamarteri, the midfielder ran straight into the visitors’ dug-out to take the acclaim, and was promptly cautioned for his troubles.
Colin Calderwood’s side, chasing a fourth successive league victory, had their tails up, and dominated the time that remained.
Keeper Matt Glennon did well to tip midfielder Chris Cohen’s shot away for a corner, Chambers whipped a low effort right across the face of Town’s goal, and with home fans anxiously awaiting the final whistle, Forest forced two corners in succession.
In the midst of all that, Town, with centre-back David Mirfin off the bench and playing as a stand-in striker, might have had a penalty when centre-back Wes Morgan appeared to use his arm to control a throw-in from a teammate in the 88th minute.
The frantic finale was in contrast to the previous phases of the match, which were played at a fast pace but failed to produce many clear-cut chances, even though Forest were as willing to attack as Town.
Luke Beckett shot over in the seventh minute and Forest’s Cohen wide in the eighth.
But with the visitors quick to get men behind the ball when Town attacked, it wasn’t until the 44th minute that Andy Ritchie’s side managed a genuine effort on target, with Cadamarteri’s low shot being held by the kneeling Smith.
While Forest, playing three strikers in Nathan Tyson, Grant Holt and Junior Agogo, looked lively, Town had more possession, and they continued to force the pace after the break.
Andy Holdsworth, who again benefited from the calming presence of on-loan West Brom player Ronnie Wallwork, was increasingly influential in midfield.
His nicely-weighted through ball set up Cadamarteri for a crack at goal in the 54th minute, when his shot on the turn from just outside the penalty area went only inches over.
And it was the one-time right-back who took advantage when ex-Celtic midfielder Neil Lennon lost control of the ball, playing a pass inside left-back Julian Bennett for Cadamarteri, who shows an undoubted touch of quality on the ball, to apply the finishing touch.
What a pity Town immediately found themselves a man down, because playing the way they had been, they might well have gone on to record a second win on the spin.