Middlesbrough 1 Nottingham Forest 1
Hopes were raised when Leroy Lita gave Boro a fifth-minute lead but Forest fully deserved their point after a stirring second-half fightback.
Forest looked the more likely winners as the game progressed. Lee Camp was hardly troubled in the visiting goal while Bradley Jones was forced into action on several occasions at the other end.
Emanuel Pogatetz returned for Middlesbrough with a mask to protect a fractured cheekbone.
Boro went ahead when Camp denied Julio Arca only for the rebound to drop to the unmarked Lita who made no mistake from eight yards.
David McGoldrick waved his arms appealing for a penalty when Forest hit back but the referee turned the protests away.
McGoldrick was spoken to by the referee following a foul near the touchline and was lucky to avoid a booking.
Paul McKenna was a driving force for the visitors who were backed up by a vociferous 3,000 contingent.
In first-half stoppage time Jones denied McGoldrick when he dashed out of his goal.
Forest stepped up play immediately after the break and it was obvious Middlesbrough's relatively inexperienced side would struggle to hold on to the lead.
A brilliant full-length Jones save denied Joe Garner's powerful shot.
In another Forest attack Paul Anderson burst down the left wing at speed and Jones again came to Middlesbrough's rescue.
Forest were the more dangerous side and it was no surprise when substitute Robert Earnshaw forced an equaliser.
After central defender David Wheater had handled the ball, Earnshaw gave Jones no chance with a brilliant free-kick.
Earnshaw celebrated with a double somersault and and goalkeeper Camp raced half the length of the pitch to join in the celebrations.
Strachan has his work cut out to improve Middlesbrough's home record.
Yet credit must go to defender Pogatetz for a courageous performance. Apart from his protective mask, he battled away with his head bandaged after a first-half injury.