Britt Assombalonga played 75 minutes as Nottingham Forest Under 21s were beaten 2-0 at Colchester United on Monday night.
Forest fell behind after only two minutes of the contest as patient build-up from the home side ended with Macauley Bonne curling a fine finish into the top corner past Tim Erlandsson.
Assombalonga then forced an excellent point-blank save from the Colchester goalkeeper midway through the first half as his header was pushed away from the target.
Goalkeeper Erlandsson had to make a number of saves to keep Forest in the game but he was powerless to prevent Bonne from doubling the lead on 67 minutes with a smart low finish.
Assombalonga was replaced with 15 minutes to play as he completed another step on his return from injury before Toby Edser had a chance to halve the deficit late on but saw his header saved by Barnes.
Forest are next in action when they entertain Crystal Palace at the Nigel Doughty Academy on Monday afternoon (18 April, kick-off 1pm).
Forest: Erlandsson, Gabriel, Trialist, Edser, Karo, Iacovitti (c), Petravicius (Yates 46'), Crookes, Assombalonga (Tralist 75'), McDonagh, Adams (Hayes 45')