Owain Tudur Jones opened his goal account for Hibernian but the team in green narrowly lost 2-1 to English Championship side Nottingham Forest in the Algarve heat.

At the Estadio Municipal VRSA, Hibernian more than matched their opponents, who are heavily tipped to win promotion into the English Premier League.

During a closely contested opening 25 minutes, there were very few chances at either end with both teams cancelling each other out.

Nevertheless Hibernian had the first clear cut opening on the 22-minute mark when Liam Craig's low shot was saved by Forest keeper Dimitar Evtimov following clever wing play from Alex Harris.

But Forest edged in front moments later when referee Sergio Piscaretta penalised Lewis Stevenson for a foul on Forest striker Dexter Blackstock inside the area.

The Forest forward then assumed responsibility for the ensuing spot kick and smashed his penalty into the roof of the net past Ben Williams.

It was the type of set-back which would normally knock the wind of any team's sails, but full credit to Hibernian who kept plugging away in hot conditions.

Moving the ball around with zip and tempo, Hibernian kept probing the Forest defence, although could not find that elusive final pass in and around the box.

Five minutes before half-time, Ryan McGivern went close with a powerful left-footed shot which flew narrowly wide of the post.

Then Evtimov was forced to punch clear after a series of teasing Hibernian crosses - as the team in green cranked up the pressure.

Make no mistake though, Forest are a quality side with a constellation of established and experienced professionals and the Reds stood firm.

Right on the stroke of half-time another right wing from the lively Harris was met by Handling, but his glancing header was deflected wide for a corner.

After the break, Hibernian kept persevering and Craig went close before Williams was forced to produce a top-class save to prevent Forest from doubling their advantage.

Forest substitute Darius Henderson also almost got a clear sight of the target, but his shot was blocked by a doggedly determined Hibernian defence.

Then Hibernian deservedly got an equaliser, albeit from an unlikely source.

Summer signing Jones, who by his own admission is not a prolific goalscorer, expertly latched onto Handling's incisive pass.

Completely puncturing Forest's offside trap, the big Welshman beat Forest keeper Khaled Alrashidi with a superb finish.

At that point, it looked as if Hibernian would hold and record a creditable draw, but minutes later Forest managed to edge in front again.

This time a direct passage of play led to Ishmael Miller getting a shot away inside the area and although Williams got a hand to the effort it ended up in the net.

Hibernian, who ended up fielding seven players who are under the age of 21, refused to give up and kept searching for an equaliser.

In fact, the final act of the game very nearly resulted in a second goal when substitute Paul Cairney cleverly nutmegged his marker on the left-hand side and slipped an inviting cross into the crowded area.

But Forest managed to clear the danger and held on to achieve the friendly win.

The club was saddened to note that an altercation took place at the Estadio Municipal VRSA during the first half.

The incident was quickly dealt with by the authorities and the rest of the match passed without incident.

Hibernian Football Club cannot condone any form of anti social behaviour or intolerance between rival groups.

Hibernian: Williams, Stevenson, McPake, Hanlon, McGivern, Harris, Taiwo, Tudur Jones, Craig, Handling, Caldwell.

Subs: Murdoch, Donaldson (for Hanlon), Forster (for McPake), Cairney (for Harris), Stanton (for Craig), Horribine (for Caldwell), Gold (for Taiwo), Mullen (for McGivern).

Highlights of the match - including the goal from OTJ - will be aired on Hibernian TV on Sunday.

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