Nottingham Forest Under 23s made it three wins from three in the Premier League Cup on Friday night with a superb 1-0 win away at Norwich City.
A first-half goal from Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel was enough to secure a vital three points for The Reds in a gritty performance by Jimmy Gilligan’s side, as they extended their lead at the top of the group.
It took just 13 minutes for The Reds to take the lead when Lawrence-Gabriel was on hand to tap the ball home past the ‘keeper after a scramble in the box from a corner. Forest continued to be in the ascendancy after the opener and Alex Mighten was unlucky not to make it 2-0 when his curled shot edged inches wide of the target.
Norwich created very little in the first-half as The Reds were forced into an early change as Kostas Megaritis came on to replace Owen Gallacher. But they had another chance to extend their lead shortly before half-time when Yassine En-Neyah was found on the edge of the area by Virgil Gomis, but the formers shot failed to test Billy Johnson in the Norwich goal.
Forest continued to see much of the ball in the opening stages after the break but as the half went on the home side slowly grew into the contest and began to test The Reds’ back four. First, Saul Milovanovic’s shot from a tight angle was close as it hit the side netting before Jordan Smith pulled off a stunning save to deny Tom Scully’s free-kick.
Kieran Hayes replaced Alex Mighten on 61 minutes and was quickly in the action as he was shown a yellow card by the referee. Gomis then tested the Norwich ‘keeper with a curled shot that had to be parried away to safety as Forest defended valiantly for the remainder of the game.
Norwich heaped on the pressure, but Jimmy Gilligan’s side managed the game well, as Gomis was replaced by Ethan Stewart, shortly after Jake Taylor was the second man to be shown a yellow card.
Another huge three points for The Reds who remain unbeaten in the Premier League Cup with a 100% win record.
Forest: Smith, Richardson, Preston (c), Taylor, Ahmedhodzic, Lawrence-Gabriel, Mighten (Hayes 61’), Johnson, Gomis (Stewart 83’), En-Neyah, Gallacher (Megaritis 33’).
Subs: Bossin, Coveney.
Goals: Lawrence-Gabriel 13'