Aidan Austin notched his second goal of the season as Nottingham Forest’s Under 18s slipped to a 2-1 defeat in a feisty affair against Coventry City on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds clawed themselves back from a goal down to draw level but the visitors fought ferociously to grab their seventh win in ten games.
At a blustery Nigel Doughty Academy the hosts got off to the worst-possible start with an opening goal after four minutes. Jordan Shipley picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and with plenty of room, he unleashed a fierce shot that nestled into the top corner with Richard Dearle at full stretch.
It took time for Kevin MacDonald’s men to recover from the early setback and the game became scrappy. Forest started spells of possession confidently but they soon fizzled out with the final ball lacking.
Vice-captain Ryan Yates helped spring his side into life with Forest’s first notable chance of the game after he slipped through Austin who pulled the ball just wide from a tight angle.
MacDonald and Jack Lester opted to play two up front and it was the forwards that linked for the next opportunity as Gerry McDonagh threaded the ball into the path of Luke Thomas, with the ball whistling past the post once again from his shot.
After the break The Reds grew into the game getting into advanced positions more frequently and they soon had their reward.
Austin muscled his way past his marker to sneakily meet the ball at the back post after a cross from the right, and the former Nike Academy man kept his cool to stay on his feet and tap home the leveller.
Both sides then proceeded to show a nasty streak in their game with tackles flying in. Yates and Alex Iacovitti were both cautioned by the referee moments before Jermaine Worthington blazed a shot over following good hold-up play from McDonagh.
If a goal was to come from the Sky Blues it would be against the run of play – and that’s exactly how it transpired. The hosts conceded possession allowing a rapid counter-attack and the ball found its way to Bassala Sambou who placed calmly past Dearle to put the visitors back in front.
Tempers continued to flare up affecting the flow and rhythm of the game, consequently halting The Reds from getting another leveller late on against the League Two North leaders.
MacDonald’s men next face a trip to Leeds United aiming to bring an end to their winless run on Saturday (1 November, 11.30am kick-off).
Forest: Dearle, Karo, Worrall, Jemson (Arrowsmith 80’), Iacovitti, E Otim, Yates (Adams 70’), Worthington, Austin (Walton 77’), McDonagh, Thomas