Nottingham Forest Under 23s comfortably beat Barnsley Under 23s 3-0 at the Impact Arena this evening.
Goals from Gboly Ariyibi, Yassine En-Neyah and Virgil Gomis sealed the win for The Reds on a night where they could have had more.
Gboly Ariyibi looked lively in the opening stages for The Reds as he looked to carve out an opportunity, but it was the visitors who had the first chance. Louis Walsh cut inside and fired a low effort at Liam Bossin who did well to push it wide.
But it was The Reds who took an early lead through Ariyibi. A clever run by En-Neyah played through Brennan Johnson who shot at goal. Barnsley 'keeper Jake Greatorex spilled the effort, allowing Ariyibi to fire home the rebound from close range.
Barnsley had a wonderful chance to level the scores soon after when Ben Williams raced into the area, but he dragged his shot inches wide of the post, with Cameron McGeehan also failing to divert the effort across goal home.
Forest continued to hold onto their lead, but Johnson was shown a yellow card for hauling down his man as the visitors broke forward. On the brink of half-time, McGeehan had a golden chance to level the scores for The Tykes when a clever free-kick routine freed him up some space, but he got his shot all wrong and fired it over.
It took The Reds just a minute into the second-half to double their lead through En-Neyah. The youngster cleverly claimed the ball in the area, found some space and lashed an effort into the left-hand corner.
Referee Sam Mulhall awarded a free-kick to Barnsley on the edge of the area on 57 minutes after Forest were deemed to have handled the ball. McGeehan stepped up to take it and forced Liam Bossin into a superb stop, with Gerry McDonagh putting the rebound over.
The Reds' defensive efforts were rewarded on 73 minutes when Virgil Gomis made it three. Some stunning football carved open the Barnsley defence, freeing up Jayden Richardson to square the ball to Gomis, who calmly slotted it home.
Ethan Stewart nearly made it four for the hosts when he rattled the bar from long range before Yassine En-Neyah forced the Barnsley stopper into a save to his right side. But The Reds were comfortable winners as they sealed all three points.
Forest: Bossin, Richardson, Preston, Coveney, Ahmedhodzic, Stewart, Ariyibi (Megaritis 86'), Johnson (Taylor 79'), Gomis (Sodeinde 86'), Edser (c), En-Neyah
Unused subs: Wright, Panagou
Goals: Ariyibi 11', En-Neyah 46', Gomis 73'