John Pemberton’s Under 21s succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Birmingham City at The Nigel Doughty Academy this afternoon.An experienced-looking line-up including Darius Henderson, Lewis McGugan and Jamaal Lascelles couldn’t find a way past the Blues who took the points thanks to a solitary second half strike.
Lascelles was involved heavily in the opening minute when he conceded a foul down the left. He had to be on hand at the resultant free kick as he lunged to divert a shot over the crossbar.
Henderson then twice went close in quick succession for Forest - first heading David Papworth’s cross narrowly wide on six minutes before going even closer shortly afterwards with a low left-footed drive.
On 25 minutes, Stephen McLaughlin burst into the area with pace and purpose but his shot was turned wide.
There were no changes at half time but The Reds soon set about trying to break the deadlock. McGugan found himself through on goal seconds into the half but saw his lob loop over Nick Townsend’s crossbar.
Chances were few and far between for both sides after that - at least until the 69th minute when substitute Marcel Henry-Francis latched on to Eddy Gnahore’s through ball to fire past Dimitar Evtimov.
Forest brought on Ben Osborn and Adam N’Kusu Landu - for McLaughlin and McGugan respectively - as they went in search of an equaliser but it was Kieran Wallace who led the charge.
On 81 minutes the midfielder found himself with time and space on the edge of the area but could only rattle the crossbar, before firing over after latching on to a Henderson flick two minutes later.
And The Reds were left to rue missed chances as the game ended 1-0 to the visitors.
Team: Evtimov, Papworth, Fenton, Morgan, Lascelles, Regan, Blake, Wallace, Henderson (Gnahore 82'), McGugan (N'Kusu Landu 75'), McLauglin (Osborn 70').
Subs not used: Gregory, Gorman