Nottingham Forest Under 18s were beaten 4-3 on penalties by Charlton Athletic in their play-off semi-final at The City Ground this evening.
Goals from Forest's Tom Gamblen and Ben Brereton cancelled out strikes from Karlan Ahearne-Grant and Sulaiman Bah but Charlton eventually progressed by holding their nerve in the shootout.
The Addicks were in front after only 11 minutes of the contest. Forest goalkeeper Jordan Wright fumbled a cross and as defender Daniel Bowry got to the rebound he was bundled over. Ahearne-Grant calmly converted the resulting spot-kick.
Jack Lester's side had opportunities to level before half-time but did get back on terms just a minute into the second half. This time it was Charlton goalkeeper Jordan Beeney who couldn't hold on to a cross and Gamblen was on hand to slot the ball home underneath Beeney's body.
Charlton went back in front though as Bah restored their lead shortly before the hour mark. Terrique Anderson did some superb work down the right-hand side before crossing for Bah to tap home from close range.
Forest looked destined for defeat but levelled in the final minute of normal time as the ball broke to Ben Brereton at the back post and he curled calmly past the outstretched hands of Beeney.
But it was to prove penalty heartbreak for Forest as Ryan Yates and Gamblen missed from the spot meaning Charlton progress to the play-off final and a meeting with Sheffield United.
Forest: J.Wright, Gabriel, Gamblen, Yates (c), Iacovitti (Re 67'), Crookes, Adams (Taylor 46'), Edser, Brereton, Otim (Gomis 82'), Hayes
Subs not used: Boyd, Nielsen
Goals: Gamblen 46', Brereton 90'
: Beeney, Bowry, Doughty, Sarpong-Wiredu (Assaina 90'), Konsa, Yao, Lapslie (c), Millar, Anderson (YCharltonamfam 88'), Bah, Aherne-Grant
Subs not used: Bone, Prall, Willis
Goals: Aherne-Grant (pen) 11', Bah 59'