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Match Reports

Under 23s: Leeds 5-1 Forest

9 February 2018

Nottingham Forest Under 23s lost for the first time in the league since the end of September as they were well beaten by Leeds United this afternoon.

Virgil Gomis hit back after two goals in the first 15 minutes from Oliver Sarkic and Oriol Rey but Leeds went on to score three more through Adrian Balboa, Paudie O'Connor and Tom Pearce in what turned out to be a miserable afternoon for The Reds.

Forest had a nightmare start on four minutes when Leeds opened the scoring. The home side were awarded a free-kick just inside their own half and despite the best attempts of Alex Iacovitti to clear the ball, Sarkic prodded the ball home to give them an early lead.

Just under ten minutes later and Leeds were at it again when Rey extended their lead. Forest failed to deal with a corner, and Rey was on hand to smash the ball home at the back post, past Tim Erlandsson in the Forest goal.

But Forest did get a goal back soon after through Virgil Gomis. A wonderful through ball found the French striker who raced forward, taking the ball past the goalkeeper before slotting home into an empty net to put The Reds back into the contest.

Then 30 minutes in and things went from bad to worse when Balboa scored to make it 3-1. Jack Clarke brought the ball forward before teeing up Balboa who put the ball into the net.

The nightmare half continued as Leeds went into the break 4-1 up. A corner was not dealt with again and despite a good save from Erlandsson in the build-up to the goal, the ball found the head of O'Connor and into the net.

Gareth Holmes made a double change at the break, bringing on Danny Preston and Kieran Hayes for Joe Coveney and Yassine En-Neyah as The Reds tried to restore some parity, but Leeds continued to dominate possession, making it difficult for the away side.

That showed when Pearce made it five for the hosts midway through the second half. The full back's mazy run was rounded off with an emphatic left-footed drive that whistled past Erlandsson and into the bottom right-hand corner.

It was a miserable afternoon for the Under 23s who failed to create anything clear-cut to get something out of the game in the second half as they now turn their attentions to the East Midlands derby against Derby County at The City Ground on Monday night (kick-off 7pm).

Forest: Erlandsson, Gabriel (Trialist 84'), Coveney (Preston 46'), Taylor, Ahmedhodzic, Iacovitti, En-Neyah (Hayes 46'), Otim, Gomis, Edser (c), Smith

Unused subs: Bossin, Johnson


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