Nottingham Forest's Under 21s fell to a 2-1 defeat at Birmingham City this afternoon despite a first-half equaliser from Stephen McLaughlin.Reds coach Charlie McParland sent out a young side at Birmingham's Wast Hills training ground which included a number of Under 18s players such as Ilias Polimos and Tyler Walker.
The home side made the brighter start though and were ahead after only three minutes. A superb counter-attack allowed Scott Allan to pull the ball back from the left-hand channel where Sam Deadfield was on hand to slam the ball high into the roof of the net.
Birmingham had good chances to double their advantage but were made to rue those misses as McLaughlin levelled midway through the first half. After dispossessing a slacking home defender, the Irishman fired a pinpoint low effort into the bottom corner past the despairing dive of Connal Trueman.
Forest then had an excellent opportunity to put themselves in front shortly before the break. Walker escaped inside the penalty area and sent a powerful strike towards goal but Trueman made a point-blank save to keep his side on level terms.
The half-time interval came at the worst possible moment for The Reds and the home side soon stepped up their efforts to regain their lead. Truslove met an Allan corner inside the box but his strong header rattled the crossbar with Ross Durrant beaten.
But Birmingham weren't to be denied and restored their advantage ten minutes after the break. An excellent interchange in the Blues midfield sent the dangerous Allan to the edge of the penalty area and he made no mistake by whistling a low shot into the far corner.
Try as they might, Forest could not find the equaliser that would have extended their unbeaten run. Kieran Wallace powered a shot narrowly wide of the target as the game entered its' final stages but Birmingham held on to claim all three points.
Team: Durrant, Polimos, Kelly, Rees, Hollingsworth, Gorman, Blake, Grant, Walker, McLaughlin, Wallace
Unused subs: Myles, Gnahore, Kamaneno, Mulraney, Elliott