Substitute Rachid Alioui checked St Etienne’s bid to climb the Ligue 1 table by firing Nimes to a 1-1 draw at the Stade des Costieres.
Former Newcastle forward Remy Cabella put ASSE ahead inside a minute but Alioui climbed off the bench to deny Les Verts a chance to go fifth, while it was a first goal for Nimes in October.
Cabella wasted no time opening the scoring with a powerful header from Mathieu Debuchy’s cross.
Nimes pushed back and St Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier had to deny Teji Savanier both in the 18th minute and shortly before half-time.
Denis Bouanga looked particularly lively for Les Crocodiles and he came close to equalising in the 69th minute only to see his effort hit the crossbar.
Nimes were suitably encouraged and, with a quarter of an hour remaining, Alioui levelled from an Umut Bozok assist.
St Etienne must return to Nimes next week for a Coupe de la Ligue clash.