Nottingham Forest’s Under 18s exited the FA Youth Cup at the third-round stage following a 3-2 defeat to Charlton Athletic at The City Ground this evening.Gary Brazil’s side had taken a 2-1 lead through goals from Derrick Otim and Jake Mulraney but The Addicks responded with a strong comeback to progress to the fourth round.
The visitors were able to edge ahead after just five minutes. Tareiq Holmes-Dennis made an excellent run into the penalty area and showed great composure to send a low finish past Ross Durrant and into the far corner.
Otim was then denied an excellent chance to level on 16 minutes. After breaking away from a Charlton defender, the striker fired towards goal but Addicks keeper Harry Doherty did well to block with his legs.
Forest’s number nine was not to be kept out for long as he found the equaliser four minutes later. Mulraney escaped down the left-hand side and produced a delightful cross which Otim was on hand to bundle home from close range.
Mulraney was proving a constant thorn in Charlton’s side and he turned the game on its head on 26 minutes. The Irishman picked the ball up and cut inside past two defenders before firing home at Doherty’s near post from 20 yards out.
Both sides were showing excellent attacking intent in an entertaining affair and The Addicks were next to try their luck. Holmes-Dennis skipped past two Forest men before drilling a low shot towards goal which Durrant got down well to palm away.
After a short interval following an injury to referee Matthew Smith, Charlton restored parity with five minutes to half-time. Karlan Ahearn-Grant scuffed his initial shot but Umerah was in the perfect place to turn the ball home with an acrobatic finish.
Forest made a change at half-time with Tyler Walker replacing Oliver Burke but it was Charlton who drew first blood in the second half. Ahearn-Grant burst into the penalty area with a good turn of pace and fired low past Durrant to give The Addicks the lead for a second time.
The away side were well on top by now and could have furthered their lead before the hour mark. Ahearn-Grant took the ball around Durrant but his shot towards goal was levered off the line by Reds defender Andreas Karo.
Mulraney’s evening was brought to a disappointing conclusion as he was stretchered off following a hefty challenge from Umerah. He was replaced by Jermaine Worthington.
The Addicks almost sealed the game with ten minutes remaining as Mykkel Kennedy’s pullback was hammered off the post by Holmes-Dennis but it wasn’t to matter as the visitors held out to seal a fourth-round tie at Southampton.
Forest: Durrant, Polimos, Elliott (Walton 85'), Shoenecker, Karo, Arrowsmith, Burke (Walker 46'), Gnahore (c), Otim, Petravicius, Mulraney (Worthington 66')
Subs not used: Myles, Kelly
Scorers: Otim 20', Mulraney 26'
Booking: Polimos 43'
Charlton: Doherty, Barnes (Edwards 84'), Pyke, Cook, Gomez, Thomas, Umerah, Lapslie (Kelly 90'), Ahearn-Grant, Holmes-Dennis, Hanlan (Kennedy 78')
Subs not used: Leon, Afolabi
Scorers: Holmes-Dennis 5', Umerah 40', Ahearn-Grant 53'
Booking: Umerah 63'
Referee: Matthew Smith