Nottingham Forest Under 23s secured their place in the quarter final of the Premier League Cup with a 2-1 win over AFC Bournemouth at The City Ground this afternoon.
Goals from Kieran Hayes and Jamie Ward on the brink of half-time were enough to see off The Cherries, despite Brennan Camp's late goal which made things interesting with ten minutes to go.
It was the visitors who came closest just eight minutes into the game. Brennan Johnson brought down a Bournemouth man on the attack, giving the visitors a free kick in a dangerous area. James Boote struck the effort from long-range and his effort rattled the bar and behind for a goal kick.
The Reds then went close on 27 minutes when Liam Bridcutt whipped in a dangerous cross which the 'keeper punched into the air. Arvin Appiah got their first, but his header drifted wide of the target.
But after a closely fought half it was Forest who scored a quickfire double. First, Hayes glanced a header into the far corner from Jake Taylor's free-kick, shortly before Ward bundled in a low cross from Appiah to make it 2-0 to the home side going into the break.
Jimmy Gilligan's side were quick out of the blocks in the second half and could have extended their lead with several chances. First, Ward looked for his second goal with a low shot that was held by the 'keeper, before Hayes glanced a header inches wide of the near post. Hayes then went close again with a close-range shot which was excellently saved by Callum Ward in the Bournemouth goal.
Appiah then had two golden chances as he fired over a volley from close range, shortly before he latched onto a Ward pass in the centre, turned and shot, forcing the Cherries stopper into another fine save. Appiah and Saidy Janko were then replaced by Alex Mighten and Joe Coveney.
The Reds continued to dominate possession and Ethan Stewart was unlucky not make it three when he jumped highest to meet Johnson's cross at the back post which was well saved by the visiting goalkeeper once again. Idris Kadded then came on to replace Hayes.
Forest should have had it wrapped up with 15 minutes remaining when Ward was slipped through on goal. The striker took on the shot but was denied yet again by Ward in the Bournemouth goal. The Cherries then made it interesting with ten to go when Brennan Camp nodded a header into the far corner.
Camp nearly scored his second and his side's equaliser when he curled a shot inches wide of the post in added time, but The Reds held on to secure their place in the quarter final of the cup.
Forest: Bossin, Janko (Coveney 61'), Taylor, Richardson, Stewart, Bridcutt, Ward, Johnson, En-Neyah, Hayes (Kadded 71'), Appiah (Mighten 61')
Subs not used: Wright, Spooner
Goals: Hayes 44', Ward 45+1'
Booking: Johnson 8'
Words by Harry Webster and images by Callum Jordan