Nottingham Forest lost 1-0 in the first-leg of their FA Youth Cup semi-final against Norwich at The City Ground this evening.Reece Hall-Johnson turned the ball over the line amid claims of handball to hand The Canaries a goal advantage going into the second leg.
The major team news came in the form of Jorge Grant’s inclusion in The Reds’ starting line up. He replaced Josh Thomas.
The first clear cut chance fell to Forest after an even start. Jack Blake’s corner caused a mini scramble in the area and Lawrence Gorman fired over from six yards.
Norwich had shown their own threat on plenty of occasions in the early stages and Ben Wyatt advanced from left back to flash his shot across the face of goal on 19 minutes.
Six minutes later Forest had the woodwork rattling. Morgan Ferrier hooked his effort against the bar after picking up the pieces from Blake’s free-kick.
With just over three minutes to play in the half, Carlton Morris raced clear only for Ari Kamaneno to execute a perfectly-timed lunge to dispossess him.
The visitors started the second-half strongly but found themselves under pressure on 53 minutes.
Derrick Otim latched on to Grant’s ball and was brought down by Cameron Norman, who earned himself a booking.
Grant was then replaced by Thomas.
On the hour, Lawrence Gorman positioned himself well at the near post to deny Jacob Murphy after the winger had weaved his way into the area.
Fourteen minutes later, Reece Hall-Johnson tricked his way into the area before firing harmlessly wide.
Kieran Fenton was then booked for a foul on Jacob Murphy and Jordan Palmer-Samuels replaced Wilfried Gnahore.
Michael Hollingsworth was next to enter the book for a foul on Rod Young.
And with two minutes to play the visitors took the lead in controversial circumstances. Norman’s cross was perfect for Hall-Johnson who appeared to handle the ball over the line from a yard out.
Forest couldn’t muster an equaliser and go into next Tuesday’s second-leg a goal down.
Forest: Smith, Hollingsworth, Kamaneno, Blake, Gorman, Fenton, Gnahore (Palmer-Samuels 75'), Grant (Thomas 57'), Otim, Ferrier, Wallace
Subs not used: Durrant, Ackroyd, Sebastiao
Bookings: Fenton 74', Hollingsworth 84', Blake 90'
Norwich: Britt, Norman, Wyatt (Barker 90'), McGeehan, McFadden, Toffolo, Murphy, Hall-Johnson, Morris, King (Young 55'), Murphy
Subs not used: Lokko, Reading, Randall
Scorer: Hall-Johnson 88'
Bookings: Norman 53', Wyatt 69'
Referee: Geoff Eltringham