A late equaliser from captain Toby Edser was enough to secure Nottingham Forest Under 23s a 1-1 draw against Watford Under 23s.
Tyrell Robinson’s first half goal after a mistake from goalkeeper Jordan Wright was not enough to secure the visitors a win as The City Ground witnessed another last minute equaliser courtesy of Edser.
The Hornets made a bright start to the match by winning three consecutive corners in the first minute but eventually they came to nothing.
After four minutes Forest had their first chance when striker Virgil Gomis raced clear before firing an effort straight at goalkeeper Charlie Bannister who just managed to hold on. Watford had their first real chance five minutes later when Nordin Amrabat’s cross was spilled by Forest goalkeeper Jordan Wright with the ball landing at Robinson’s feet who then snatched at the volley and fired it over the cross bar.
Robinson had another good chance moments later after some good work from Amrabat who raced forward and played it through to the winger who dragged his shot wide.
The Reds came close to breaking the deadlock on 18 minutes when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area after Carl Stewart handled the ball. Forest’s clever routine off the training ground did not go to plan however.
Forest were close again to scoring the first goal when a superb lofted ball from Toby Edser found Virgil Gomis at the back post but the Frenchman couldn’t quite connect well enough with it to put it on target.
On 35 minutes the Reds won a penalty through Yassine En-Neyah when he was chopped down by a Watford player after Iacovitti headed an Edser free kick back across goal. Referee Anthony Tankard initially waved it away but eventually gave it much to the Watford players’ discontent.
Midfielder Kyle McClean stepped up to take the penalty but his effort was stopped by Charlie Bannister who got down well to his left to save.
Defender Anel Ahmedhodzic became the first player to go into the referee’s book after a strong challenge on Juan Zuniga.
The Reds had a great chance to break the deadlock on half time when an excellent forward ball from midfield found Aaron Smith who beautifully flicked it into the path of Virgil Gomis whose delicate chip landed just over the crossbar.
The Reds finally had the ball in the net at the start of the second half through Virgil Gomis but it was disallowed when the linesman had his flag up for offside.
The Hornets had their own chance at the beginning of the second half when defender Connor Stevens headed well over from a Juan Zuniga corner.
It was Watford who made the first change of the evening on 58 minutes when first team player Nordin Amrabat was replaced by Dion Perriera moments after Forest’s Jake Taylor did well to find some space from 25-yards-out but he fired his effort into the Trent End.
It was the Reds who made the second substitute of the evening when left back Adam Crookes was replaced by Danny Preston. In the 61st minute, the visitors took the lead when Carl Stewart clipped in a ball behind the Forest defence with goalkeeper Jordan Wright failing to claim the ball, allowing winger Tyrell Robinson to race through and smash the ball into an empty net. Forest were close to a quick reply through Aaron Smith who fired just over the bar in what was a good opportunity for the Reds.
Watford then made make their second change of the evening when Carl Stewart was replaced by Ryhle Ovenden before making their final substitution when Ogo Obi came on for Juan Zuniga. Substitute Danny Preston then went into the book after a nasty challenge on Watford defender Connor Stevens.
A cracking strike from Aaron Smith from 20-yards-out was nearly enough for Forest to get back on level terms when his deflected effort narrowly went over the bar with the resultant corner coming to nothing before the Reds made another substitute with Anthony Wright replacing Kyle McClean.
Watford replacement Dion Perriera came lose to sealing the win for Watford when some good individual play opened up some space for himself with his effort causing Wright to scramble in the Forest goal as it went just wide.
In the 90th minute, the City Ground witnessed another last minute equaliser when an excellent cross from Yassine En-Neyah was met by captain Toby Edser who nodded past Bannister.
Forest even came close to snatching a win when substitute Anthony Wright prodded it over Bannister but his effort was cleared.