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Match Reports

Under 23s: Derby 1-2 Forest

6 November 2017

Dan Westwell/Nottingham Post

Nottingham Forest Under 23s got their Premier League Cup campaign up and running with a 2-1 win over East Midlands rivals Derby County.

Goals from Zach Clough and Matty Cash earned the win for The Reds at Pride Park as they came from behind after Charles Vernam put The Rams in front early on.

Gary Brazil named several senior players in his starting line-up, with Stephen Henderson, Matt Mills, Cash, Clough and Andreas Bouchalakis all given some game time during the international break.

The Reds started brightly, carving out several openings inside the first 10 minutes but lacking a cutting edge in the final third which would have seen them ahead.

But against the run of play it was the home side who took the advantage after 12 minutes as Vernam lashed home from 12 yards after a fine run by Luke Thomas. The Derby frontman gave Henderson no chance with his effort to put The Rams in front.

Forest responded well and Clough forced Derby keeper Josh Barnes into a smart save on 18, with the stopper again called into action three minutes later to deny Virgil Gomis.

With half-an-hour on the clock, Forest drew level thanks to Clough's fine effort. The forward beat his man on the left wing, cut inside and curled a shot past Barnes and into the far corner of the net, much to the delight of the travelling Forest supporters.

It was level at the break and The Reds came out strongly at the start of the second half. Cash was denied on 49 as his long-range effort was palmed away by Barnes, but the midfielder didn't have to wait long as he put Forest in front just moments later.

Clough played Cash in down the left of the penalty area and he fired a low shot towards the near post which deceived Barnes and crashed into the net.

Henderson was called into action for the first time in the match on 69 minutes as Max Bird let fly from the edge of the box. The Irish stopper did well to tip the shot over the bar at full stretch and deny The Rams a leveller.

Forest could, and should, have had a third goal late on as substitute Aaron Smith was first denied by a smart low save by Barnes, then the midfielder met the resulting corner completely unmarked in front of goal but headed wide of the target.

There were several opportunities to extend the lead on the counter attack for The Reds which they didn't take, but in the end it didn't matter as they secured the three group-stage points.

Forest: Henderson, Gabriel, Ahmedhodzic, Crookes, Mills (c), Cash (Taylor 85'), Otim, Clough (Smith 80'), Walters, Bouchalakis (Edser 75'), Gomis

Unused subs: Wright, Stewart

Goals: Clough 31', Cash 49'

Bookings: Gabriel 37', Walters 90'

Derby: Barnes, Stabana, Lowe (c), Bird (MacDonald 74'), Bateman, Wassall, Thomas, Guy, Jakobsen (Mitchell-Lawson 64'), Vernam, Walker

Unused subs: Cover, Ravas, Karic

Goal: Vernam 12'

Booking: Stabana 77'


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