Nottingham Forest Under 23s secured a much-needed three points this afternoon as they defeated Sheffield United 1-0 in the Professional Development League.
Yassine En-Neyah’s 12th-minute opener was enough to condemn The Blades to defeat at the Forest Academy with Liam Bridcutt, Jamie Ward and Pele all getting valuable game time.
The Reds should have taken the lead a minute before they scored with En-Neyah nodding over a good cross from Jayden Richardson, but he made amends a minute later as he scored what would prove to be the winning goal. The Irishman fired his side into the lead as he prodded the ball home at the near post.
Forest could have had a second on 17 minutes when the industrious En-Neyah ran through on goal, but Jake Eastwood in The Blades' goal did well to divert the ball over the top. Forest continued to dominate the half with Bridcutt commanding things in the centre, as they went into the break a goal up.
The visitors started to impose themselves in the second half as Forest lost their dominance, but both sides failed to create any other clear-cut chances. Oliver Greaves then went close for The Blades however, forcing Liam Bossin into a good save after he found some space inside the box.
Jimmy Gilligan made some changes with Brennan Johnson being replaced by Kieran Hayes, before Pele and Ward were brought off for Tyrese Fornah and Idris Kadded.
En-Neyah had most of the chances for Forest and he had another when an excellent cross picked him out but his glancing header edged wide of the target. Fornah was then shown a yellow card for a challenge in the centre.
The final opportunity went Forest’s way as Hayes broke the offside trap and put an effort goalwards, but the ‘keeper did well to block it, as The Reds secured a big three points in the league.
Forest: Bossin, Richardson, Taylor, Bridcutt, Lawrence-Gabriel, Stewart, Appiah, Pele (Fornah 78'), En-Neyah, Johnson (Hayes 70'), Ward (Kadded 78')
Subs not used: Wright, Coveney
Goal: En-Neyah 12'
Images provided by Dan Westwell.