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Young Reds pass Terriers test

19 August 2015

Liam Adams and Ben Brereton both scored twice to hand Nottingham Forest's Under 18s a comfortable 4-2 victory over Huddersfield Town yesterday.

The Reds were well on top throughout and were rewarded for their slick passing football on a slippery surface at The Nigel Doughty Academy, ensuring their first win of the campaign.

Jack Lester made three changes to the side that were held to a 1-1 draw against Brentford in the opening game of the season with Joe Boyd, Adam Crookes and Elvis Otim being replaced by Richard Dearle, Ryan Yates and Adams.

Forest lined up in a makeshift 4-4-2 system with Yates and ex-Southend United defender Jordan Gabriel occupying unfamiliar centre back roles and Toby Edser, Tom Gamblen and Jake Taylor roaming around in midfield playing neat, quick football.

The hosts got off to a purposeful start springing forward with intent and it was Adams who had the best chance in the opening quarter of an hour, but after being fed through by the fit-again Kieran Hayes he could only spoon the ball wide.

Soon after, Brereton had a sighter as he was played in but his attempt to poke it between the keeper's legs was thwarted.

Yates then nearly notched his first of the campaign with a powerful shot that was palmed away, before the deadline was deservedly broken thanks to a lovely long range strike. Picking the ball up in the free space behind the strikers, Adams took one look at his target and unleashed a rocket into the top corner of the net to give his side the advantage.

Moments after their first goal, Forest put their foot on the pedal and visitors' defender Jordan Williams slid in unsuccessfully inside the 18-yard-box to give away a penalty which Brereton stepped up to calmly place in the bottom corner to double the lead.

Huddersfield were finding it extremely difficult to deal with the intensity of Lester's side, who remained relaxed on the ball in tight situations leaving the West Yorkshire outfit chasing shadows.

Energetic forward Hayes laid it back for the oncoming Taylor whose driven strike was saved, but it wasn't long before the hosts got their third goal inside 40 first-half minutes. A teasing cross was delivered from the left which Adams deftly nodded into the corner to notch his second of the encounter.

The Reds began the second period in the same vein with Adams, Edser, Taylor and Gamblen proving to be key components in the flowing football on the floor as Hayes and Brereton continued to profit up top.

The latter was teed up by the tirelessly productive Adams from wide but the ex-Stoke City striker couldn't direct his header on goal. Gamblen then forayed forward and lashed inches wide from a tight angle as Forest chased their fourth, but the deficit was reduced a couple of minutes later.

Huddersfield upped the pressure and the ball fell loose to Jack Boyle who laced the ball home to offer his team a lifeline. But Forest carried on untroubled and Hayes showed exquisite dribbling ability to race away from the defence, but his effort whizzed past the post.

Putting the game beyond any doubt was the aim for Lester's men and they did so on 66 minutes with a fourth. Brereton replicated the dribbling of Hayes as he eased past defenders as if they weren't there and he placed it nicely into the bottom corner for his third goal in two matches.

Huddersfield's former goalkeeping coach Ian Bennett is now on the staff at Forest and he watched on as Richard Dearle made a fine instinctive stop as The Terriers began to pick up the urgency in the final third.

And the away side grabbed another one to keep the hosts on their toes after Rekeil Pyke converted at the back post, but they were frustrated in their quest for further attacks as Forest kept the ball calmly in the closing stages to secure their first victory of the season.

The Under 16s recently went on a six-match unbeaten run to be crowned winners of the Evima Cup in Bulgaria with Virgil Gomis getting both goals in the final which they won 2-0.

Lester's Under 18s are next in action when they travel to take on Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday August 22 (11am kick-off).

Forest: Dearle, Diallo, Gabriel, Yates (c), Re, Taylor, Edser (Willetts 88'), Gamblen, Adams, Hayes, Brereton

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