Nottingham Forest Under 18s secured their place in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup with a fine 5-1 win over Maidenhead United at York Road this evening.
Goals from Alex Mighten, Fin Back, Keith Asare and two penalties from Brennan Johnson secured the win for The Reds in a tough encounter.
The Reds were immediately seeing most of the ball in the opening stages and their early dominance soon showed when Mighten gave them the lead. Asare’s long cross wasn’t dealt with by the home side and Mighten was on hand to tap the ball home at the back post to give The Reds an early goal to ease the nerves.
Fin Back already looked lively in the centre of midfield and that soon showed when he grabbed The Reds’ second goal of the evening. Johnson’s powerfully struck free-kick was spilled by the Maidenhead ‘keeper and Back reacted quickest to fire the ball into the net.
But on the brink of half-time the home side were given a lifeline against the run of play when the referee awarded them a penalty after he deemed a Forest man to have dragged a player down in the area. Brad Farren stepped up to take the spot-kick and converted it straight down the middle to give them hope going into the break.
It was a rather uneventful opening to the second-half as The Reds struggled to see the ball. There was a flurry of yellow cards as Josh Barnes, Riley Harbottle and Jayden Richardson were all shown cards for late challenges.
But Forest battled well and had to cope with Riley Harbottle being replaced by Sam Sanders through injury. Their patience was rewarded as Johnson was tripped inside the area and the referee gave the penalty. Johnson dinked his penalty into the net as The Reds extended their lead.
Minutes later Johnson converted another penalty after a Forest man was brought down and yet again, he coolly converted it with just minutes left on the clock.
The Reds were not done there however as Keith Asare got in on the action to curl a delightful shot into the bottom left-hand corner, as The Reds sealed their place in the next round with a resounding 5-1 win.
Match report by Harry Webster and image by Callum Jordan.
Forest: Statham, Richardson, Spooner, Dekel-Daks, Barnes, Harbottle (c) (Sanders 72’), Asare (Greenwood 90'), Back, Andrew (Hill 77’), Johnson, Mighten
Subs not used: Liburd-Hines, Hammond