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Walker strike cuts down Blades

12 January 2015

Tyler Walker's left-footed thunderbolt helped Nottingham Forest's Under 18s to their fifth win in a row against Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds went down to ten men after Andreas Karo received his marching orders 16 minutes from time, but the South Yorkshire outfit couldn't prevent a confident Forest on the day and Kasheme Walton sealed the 2-0 victory late on at a blustery Nigel Doughty Academy.

Kevin MacDonald made five changes from the side that overcame Milton Keynes Dons in the FA Youth Cup third-round with Karo, Walton, Ryan Yates, Joe Boyd and Dylan Burns all occupying starting spots.

It wasn't long before in-form Forest got into their stride and Walton had the first chance of the match getting on the end of a whipped Jack Kelly corner, but the striker's powerful header was instinctively stopped by Blades' keeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Ramsdale was once again left wondering where his defence was as Walker raced through one-on-one with time on his side and the keeper was grateful to see the shot balloon over the bar from close range.

Karo came close with a header as Forest were knocking loudly on the door with the visitors unable to impose themselves, and The Reds took the lead on 33 minutes.

Yates strode forward from right-back, picked out Walker in space who took the ball calmly 25 yards out and audaciously drove the ball into the top corner on his weaker left foot to get his fifth goal of the campaign.

The two potent attackers continued to terrorise The Blades and nearly extended the lead late in the half. Walker put in a wonderful delivery for Walton who was denied by a desperate last-gasp block, and the former followed up on the loose ball and finessed the ball just wide from the edge of the area.

MacDonald made two substitutions at the interval with the impressive Walker and Luke Thomas departing for Aidan Austin and Tom Gamblen as the hosts chose to pack the midfield and squeeze the game out.

United, who departed the FA Youth Cup at the second-round stage, were finding it difficult to get beyond a resolute Forest defence despite second-half assistance from the heavy winds, with Joe Worrall marshalling the back four stoutly.

Jorome Slew tried his luck from range but he saw his shot blaze over Boyd's goal and Shea Gordon's tame effort trickled wide as frustrations started to grow.

A testing underused ball threaded through the Forest defence gave the visitors a lifeline after the quick Slew was cynically brought down by Karo and the Cypriot centre-half was shown a straight red card for his troubles.

Despite the one man advantage The Blades still struggled to sustain a spell of possession long enough to inflict danger with MacDonald's men working their guts off to nullify any possible threats and spring forward on the counter.

The disciplined approach once again proved successful and Forest wrapped up their fifth consecutive victory nine minutes from time. Matty Cash, who recently signed a professional deal at the club, challenged gutsily on the edge of the area and the ball fell kindly for Walton who controlled and slotted into the bottom corner for his seventh goal of the season.

As well as the fine run of wins The Reds are now unbeaten in nine games which will stand them in good stead for their FA Youth Cup fourth-round tie at The Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion on Thursday (January 15), 7pm kick-off.

Forest: Boyd, Yates, Worrall, Karo, Kelly, Burns (E Otim 83'), Cash, Crookes, Thomas (Gamblen 45'), Walton, Walker (Austin 45')

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