A strong second-half performance from Nottingham Forest’s Under 21s couldn’t prevent them from falling to a 4-0 home defeat to Crewe Alexandra this afternoon.The Reds got off to a bright start on a chilly afternoon at The Nigel Doughty Academy and skipper Josh Rees had the first sight of goal as he shot straight at goalkeeper Robbie Johnson from 25 yards.
Crewe included first-team strikers Byron Moore and Vadaine Oliver among their starting line-up and it was the former who opened the scoring. Forest keeper Aaron Myles produced a good save to deny James Jones’ rifled effort but Moore was alert to tuck away the rebound.
Forest could have been on level terms soon after but were denied by a moment of brilliance from Johnson. Derrick Otim’s miscued shot fell straight to strike partner Tyler Walker and his header appeared to have beaten the Alex goalkeeper but he recovered superbly to palm the ball away.
The visitors’ frontline was causing all sorts of problems for The Reds and they doubled their advantage shortly before the half-hour. Jones sent in a devilish cross from the right-hand side and Oliver was on hand to convert from close range despite protestations for offside from the home defence.
Jimmy Gilligan sent his side out with renewed vigour and belief at the start of the second half as they sought to halve the deficit. Jorge Grant fired a number of warning shots narrowly over Johnson’s crossbar as Forest continued to play some excellent build-up football.
But they were to be undone at the back twice more to give the scoreline an undeserved look. Jones first crossed into the penalty area where Billy Waters was waiting to spin and fire home under the body of Myles from 12 yards out.
Jones had been a handful for the Forest backline all afternoon and he provided the assist for the visitors’ final goal. The winger played in Joe Howell and after Myles had hesitated in advancing from his line, the substitute striker lobbed the ball over him and into the net to round off the scoring.
Team: Myles, Polimos, Gorman, Worrall, Kamaneno, Hollingsworth (Burke 77’), Rees, Wallace, Grant, Otim, Walker