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Match Reports

Under 23s: Forest 1-1 Leeds

20 December 2019

A stunning long-range strike from Brennan Johnson salvaged a point for Nottingham Forest Under-23s as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Leeds United at The Nigel Doughty Academy.

The 18-year-old superbly turned away from his marker before smashing the ball into the top corner from 25-yards to cancel out Ryan Edmondson’s first-half opener.

In extremely wet conditions, it was a largely scrappy encounter, with clear-cut chances few and far between throughout. Toby Edser’s early strike failed to test Meslier before Tyrese Fornah saw an effort blocked.

The visitors took the lead just before the half-hour mark with their first real opportunity of the match. Liam McCarron’s corner found Edmondson, who reacted the quickest to pounce and score via the post from close range.

Forest responded well and were almost level seconds before the interval. Keith Asare drove into the box and was tackled, before Yassine En-Neyah followed up but saw an effort strike the near post.

The beginning of the second-half saw Leeds almost double their advantage. Pascal Struijk met a cross at the back post and sent a header goalwards, but Siampanis pulled off an excellent save to keep his side in the game.

Just before the hour mark, Forest were gifted a chance to pull level, when Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel was tripped in the box. However, Will Swan saw his penalty well saved by Meslier.

As the game headed towards it’s conclusion, Forest frantically searched for an equaliser. Johnson saw a shot saved from a tight angle before Edmondson almost won it but for a brilliant block from Yohan Benalouane which deflected the ball wide.

But moments later, Forest got their goal. Johnson spun away from the marking defender before sending a thunderbolt into the near top corner.

Forest almost claimed a late winner in the last minute of normal time, when Edser leapt to meet an Asare free-kick but could only direct his header into the palms of Meslier.

The draw sees Forest extend their unbeaten run to eleven games, and they remain second in the Professional Development League.

Forest: Siampanis, Jenkinson (Lawrence-Gabriel 46'), Gallacher, Fornah, Benalouane, Hefele (Stewart 46'), Asare, Edser (c), Swan (Hayes 64'), En-Neyah, Johnson

Subs not used: Shelvey, Sole

Goal: Johnson 78'

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