Jack Kelly's wonder strike couldn't prevent a narrow 2-1 defeat for Nottingham Forest U18s against Ipswich Town on Saturday afternoon.Jack Lester's men took a well-deserved lead against The Tractor Boys but were harshly edged out by the side with a 100% win record this season.
The Reds came out of the blocks sharply and struck in the ninth minute. Gerry McDonagh, replacing Tyler Walker in the starting line-up, was fouled on the edge of the area and Kelly stepped up to curl a beautiful strike around the wall from 20 yards, for his first goal of the campaign.
Forest continued their lively start and looked relatively comfortable, with their reshuffled midfield getting the better of the early exchanges.
Ryan Yates replaced Oliver Burke on the right of midfield, with Tom Gamblen and tough-tackling Adam Crookes operating in the centre, with the left wing occupied by Elvis Otim.
Kelly nearly got on the scoresheet again just minutes after his opener. The full-back found himself in acres of space inside the area but fired just over the bar.
Forest were dictating, but in a similar fashion to their recent 2-1 defeat away to Barnsley, were left to rue not making the most of their dominance as Ipswich found an equaliser.
Shane McLoughlin crept into space at the far post and smartly finished past Richard Dearle.
With a couple of minutes remaining until half-time and with The Reds on the ropes, Ipswich took the lead. A lack of concentration at the back allowed Ed Ellis to sneak away from his marker and volley into the net.
Forest were easy on the eye in the second half, and tried to plough forward at every opportunity. Lester's men were lacking penetration in the final third however, as full-back Kelly frequently made rampaging forward runs in a bid to bring out the spark in his colleagues.
Substitute Luke Thomas was introduced to inject some pace into the attack, but carried on finding a route difficult past a dogged Ipswich defence.
The final chance of the second period fell to Joe Worrall right at the death. A last-gasp attempt to test the away side aerially nearly proved successful.
The centre-back saw his looping header drop inches over Jacob Marsden's goal, with the keeper scurrying back to his line afraid it would drop the other side of the bar.
Despite encouraging performances, Forest are still searching for their first league win of the season.
Lester's men will hope to get that win in their next game away to Crystal Palace on Saturday September 13 (12pm kick-off)
Forest: Dearle, Worthington, Worrall, Iacovitti, Kelly, Yates, Gamblen (Thomas 58'), Crookes, Otim (Hayes 70'), Trialist, McDonagh (Arrowsmith 85')