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Under 23s: Forest 4-0 Crewe

29 November 2016

A Ben Brereton brace secured three points for Nottingham Forest Under 23s as they put in a dominant performance to beat Crewe 4-0 at Alfreton Town's Impact Arena.

The young forward put The Reds ahead in the first-half, before Hildeberto Pereira and Virgil Gomis scored either side of Brereton's second goal to seal a convincing win in the Professional Development League.

Pereira, given some game time while he completes his suspension with the first team, played in the number 10 role behind Brereton, while Jack Hobbs also played a full 90 minutes as he continued his recovery from injury.

Forest took the lead after five minutes as Brereton scored with a neat finish after good work by Pereira. The Portuguese surged forward through the middle and played a chipped ball to Brereton, who fired home with the outside of his boot for his tenth goal of the season.

The visitors were nearly level just a minute later as Daniel Udoh was played in down the right, and his pull-back was fired goalwards by Callum Ainley but Jordan Smith pulled off a stunning stop to preserve the lead.

Fred Nielsen nearly made it 2-0 on nine minutes as he headed an Anthony Wright cross from inside the six-yard box, but Crewe stopper David Richards somehow tipped the effort over the bar, and the keeper was forced into action again on 17 to deny Brereton after a neat flick by Pereira.

Richards again denied Forest on the half hour, stretching to prevent Anel Ahmedhodzic from steering an effort into the far corner and Forest went into the break the side on top but Crewe looked threatening on the counter attack.

Brereton came close again on 51 as he was inches away from steering Pereira's cut back home, and Pereira should have scored as he skewed an effort over the bar when one-on-one just a minute later.

Richards denied Brereton again on 54 as the Forest man twisted and turned inside the box before the Crewe keeper tipped his effort round the post.

But Forest were not to be denied as their strong start to the second-half produced a second goal as Pereira scored on 57.

Ahmedhodzic played a superb threaded ball through to Brereton who unselfishly squared to Pereira when one-on-one with Richards to allow the Portuguese to control and tap home.

Crewe almost found a way back into the game as Jordan Smith spilled a free-kick and George Ray fired over the loose ball from 10 yards out, and Callum Ainley should have tested Smith when through on goal on 66 but opted to square the ball instead and Choz Charlesworth was covering to clear.

Smith was forced into making a save on 75 as Callum Billock stung his palms with an effort, and substitute Lewis Reilly should have hit the target with a header inside the six-yard box as the visitors applied plenty of pressure on the Forest goal.

But they could not capitalise on that pressure as Forest made it 3-0 on 85 as Brereton scored his second of the game, firing low past Richards after substitute Virgil Gomis's lay-off.

Gomis got his own name on the scoresheet on 88 minutes as he raced onto a through ball and fired low and hard past Richards, and nearly made it 5-0 on 90 as his effort from a tight angle went just wide, but it finished 4-0 as The Reds secured a third win in four games.

Forest: Smith, Charlesworth, Preston, Hobbs, Nielsen, Ahmedhodzic (R. Worrall 90), Edser, Otim (Crookes 71'), Pereira, Wright (Gomis 81'), Brereton

Unused subs: Marques, McCormick

Goals: Brereton 5', 85', Pereira 57', Gomis 88'

Crewe: Richards, Billock (Woodcock 87'), Yates (Reilly 62'), Finney (Lundstram 87'), Ray, Wilkinson, Ainley, Wintle, Udoh, Kirk, Pickering

Unused subs: Wadley

Yellow card: Wintle 75'

Attendance: 133

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