John Pemberton’s Under 21s were held 0-0 at home by Crewe Alexandra this afternoon.David Morgan, Matt Regan and Jack Andrews were all present in the starting line up despite being on youth loans at Lincoln City, Tamworth and Boston United respectively.
Forest dominated the early proceedings with some impressive passing play but the first shot of note came from Crewe’s Ryan Colclough. He scuffed wide from the edge of the area on 25 minutes after linking up with Harry Clayton.
That sparked the game into life and Forest responded immediately through Jack Andrews. Derrick Otim picked him out on the left and the full back cut inside before watching his shot deflect into the arms of Ben Garratt.
The visitors went straight down the other end and Jordan Smith saved well from Max Clayton after the forward had burst into the area.
And on 32 minutes Colclough showed good skill to tee himself up in the box but he couldn’t convert his volley.
Six minutes later, David Morgan shot straight at Garratt after some excellent Forest build-up.
The last act of an enjoyable half came from Crewe’s Brendon Daniels - he fired just wide after a strong run by Colclough.
Forest went close on 55 minutes after the ball broke to Otim near the byline. He picked out Kieran Wallace on the edge of the area but the midfielder’s first-time shot flashed past the post.
On the hour mark, Otim drew a foul in the left channel and Blake appeared to overhit the resultant free kick, but Garratt had to be on hand to tip it over the bar.
And a minute later the keeper did well to turn Morgan Ferrier’s deflected effort wide of the post.
Sensing the game was swaying too-strongly in the hosts’ favour, Crewe broke with purpose down the left and Smith had to produce a stunning save to deny Brad Inman at point-blank rage.
And the keeper proved Inman’s nemesis once again moments later when he did brilliantly to save low down to his right after the forward had run clear.
Sandwiched between those two chances came a Wallace header which sailed inches wide, and another headed opportunity fell to Ferrier on 77 minutes but he could only nod straight at Garratt after Osborn’s pinpoint cross.
Both sides struggled to create anything from then on, although The Reds survived a late scare when Nolan headed just wide in the first minute of added time.
Team: Smith, Papworth, Fenton, Regan, Andrews, Blake (Hollingworth), Wallace, Morgan, Osborn, Otim (Gnahore), Ferrier.