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18s end Terriers' unbeaten run

8 December 2014

Adam Crookes netted a stunning goal as Nottingham Forest's Under 18s recorded an impressive 2-1 victory over high-flying Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon.

Swedish goalkeeper Tim Erlandsson made a number of excellent saves on his debut as goals from Crookes and Elvis Otim saw The Reds home and dry on a chilly afternoon at Canalside training complex.

The Terriers had previously gone eight games unbeaten, winning six of them, but came unstuck against Kevin MacDonald's men, who head into their FA Youth Cup campaign in scintiliating form.

Forest began the game with menace and Crookes immediately made his name known, hammering a shot from 25 yards that bounced off the crossbar.

It proceeded to be a cagey encounter between two very confident sides and chances were few and far between. Ryan Yates crossed well for the in-form Kasheme Walton who was looking for his fifth headed goal in the space of a month, but he saw his effort hit the side netting.

Erlandsson was called into action for the first time making a quality save at full-stretch to his right with Jack Boyle's curler heading for the top corner. The intimidating presence was needed a couple of minutes later palming another shot away that looked destined to nestle into the back of the net.

The game needed a goal and it was certainly worth the wait from Forest's midfield enforcer. Crookes collected the ball, dribbled excellently through the heart of Huddersfield's midfield and rifled an unstoppable strike into the top corner to notch his first of the season.

The start of the second period was delayed due to the absence of paramedics and the match was definitely in need of resuscitation early on, with both sides cancelling each other out again. It took until the 63rd minute for the first genuine chance of the half and it was the crucial leveller.

The hosts caused confusion in the Forest box and Ronan Coughlan appeared to get the final touch to finally get past Erlandsson and set up a tasty final half-hour.

The Reds have shown superb endeavour after knockbacks in the last month because of their well-drilled pressing and Saturday was no different, responding perfectly to the equaliser.

Luke Thomas delivered a dangerous ball that skidded across the six-yard box and Otim snook in beyond his marker to trickle a header towards the bottom corner to give his side the lead.

Yates used his athletic midfield instincts at right back and galloped forward once again, crossing for Walton who failed to convert his header to extend the lead.

Huddersfield's character came on strong towards the end of the game as they desperately tried to retain their remarkable unbeaten record, but they were being met by a throroughly outstanding defence marshalled by Joe Worrall and assisted well by fellow centre-half Andreas Karo.

MacDonald now has to prepare the Under 18s for an occasion on the City Ground turf as they face Milton Keynes Dons in the FA Youth Cup third round on Tuesday (16 December), 7pm kick-off.

Forest: Erlandsson, Yates, Worrall, Karo, Worthington, E Otim, Crookes, Gamblen, Thomas, Walton (Austin 86'), McDonagh

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