Nottingham Forest Under 23s secured a comfortable 2-1 win over Burnley this afternoon in the Professional Development League.
Goals from Jamie Ward and Yassine En-Neyah in each half condemned The Clarets to defeat, who scored a late consolation of their own. Tobias Figueiredo returned to action, playing 60 minutes, while Sam Byram also completed another 90 minutes on their return from injury.
The Reds made the perfect start on six minutes when Ward fired them into an early lead. An excellent run from Byram down the right saw him fire in a low cross which was turned in by Ward who finished emphatically into the top corner.
Although Forest were in the ascendancy, chances were limited. However, Jake Taylor nearly made it two midway through the first half when he took a quick free kick which edged just over the bar. Jimmy Gilligan's side were moving the ball around terrifically and Kieran Hayes was unlucky not to finish a neat move in the centre when his touch was too heavy as he was played through on goal.
After the break, Jordan Cropper was shown a yellow card for the visitors after a late challenge on Hayes before The Reds nearly doubled their lead. Another dangerous free-kick from Taylor on the edge of the area went all the way through the Burnley defence, but nobody was on hand to turn the ball home.
Figueiredo and Ward were then replaced by Jayden Richardson and En-Neyah on the hour mark and the latter quickly made his mark. A lofted through ball from Brennan Johnson was latched onto by En-Neyah who brought the ball down brilliantly before slotting it past the 'keeper to make it two.
Kostas Megaritis came on to replace Danny Preston shortly before a shocking challenge from Burnley defender Bobby Thomas on Alex Mighten saw him go into the book, forcing the Forest winger off.
Burnley then made their extra man count when Thomas nodded in from a long throw-in, but The Reds held on to secure another impressive three points.
Forest: Wright, Byram, Preston (Megaritis 75'), Taylor, Figueiredo (c) (Richardson 60'), Stewart, Ward (En-Neyah 60'), Fornah, Hayes, Johnson, Mighten
Subs not used: Bossin, J. Hefele
Goals: Ward 6', En-Neyah 69'
Words by Harry Webster, images by Callum Jordan