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Under 23s: Forest 2-0 Barnsley

12 December 2016

Ben Brereton scored twice as Nottingham Forest Under 23s sealed a 2-0 win over Barnsley at Alfreton Town's Impact Arena.

Brereton struck on 79 minutes and again in injury time from the penalty spot as a strong second half performance from The Reds sealed the win.

The goal-mouth action in the first half was very limited as both defences were on top. The opening minutes were marred by a serious-looking injury to Barnsley's Josh Kay who was stretchered off after an awkward landing following an aerial challenge with Toby Edser.

Kyle McClean's dangerous free-kick nearly nestled into the far corner after it evaded everyone, but Barnsley goalkeeper Jack Walton watched as it went just wide. 

McClean was involved again on 18 as his smart ball freed Ben Brereton on the right. His pull-back found Virgil Gomis but he could only slice an effort over the bar as he stretched to reach it. 

Barnsley's first effort came a few minutes later as Jacob Brown's deflected effort nearly caught out Chris Marques at his near post, but the Forest keeper tipped wide. Brown had the game's best effort on the stroke of half-time as a surging run by Elliot Lee found the Barnsley striker in space on the right and his rifled effort fizzed just past the far post.

The visitors started the second half on the front foot and looked most likely to break the deadlock, but Brereton nearly gave The Reds the lead as he forced Walton into his first save of the game on 53.

Toby Edser picked the ball up 35 yards from goal and clipped a ball to the back post for Brereton, who looped a header goalwards but Walton back-pedalled to tip the effort over.

From the resulting corner a Barnsley counter-attack was thwarted by a superb tackle by Adam Crookes, and Lee thought he had found the opening goal as he turned in Omari Patrick's cross, only to see the offside flag raised.

Brereton had penalty appeals waved away by the referee as he went down under Walton's challenge on 59 and Chris Marques was forced into a smart stop from Louis Rowe's goal-bound header.

Forest were on the front foot with Brereton at the heart of The Reds' attacks, and the striker found the breakthrough on 79.

A superb through-ball by Choz Charlesworth found Brereton on the right side of the penalty area and he cut inside onto his left foot to slot into the far corner.

Fred Nielsen almost made it two five minutes later as he pounced after Walton spilled a free-kick, but his toe-poked effort was cleared off the line. Omari Patrick almost equalised immediately after as he fired just wide following a swift break but it was game over as Brereton doubled the lead from the spot in injury time.

From a Barnsley corner Taylor broke with the ball and timed his pass to perfection for Brereton to run onto, but he was brought down by Rhys Dolan in the area. Brereton stepped up himself to send Walton the wrong way and seal a 2-0 win in the Professional Development League.

Forest: Marques, Charlesworth, Crookes, Ahmedhodzic, Nielsen, McClean (Harbottle 87'), Edser, Otim (Walters 75'), Wright (Taylor 66'), Gomis, Brereton

Unused subs: Jemson, R. Worrall

Goals: Brereton 79', 90' pen

Yellow card: Charlesworth 88'

Barnsley: Walton, Wardle, White (Dolan 46'), Kay (Rowe 8'), Rodriguez, Proctor, Patrick, Bird, Brown, Lee, Carvell (Greatorex 82')

Unused subs: Smith, Wolfe

Yellow card: Dolan 90'

Attendance: 140

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