Nottingham Forest Under 23s played out a 2-2 draw with Colchester United in the Professional Development League on Monday afternoon.
Two penalties from Arvin Appiah secured a point for The Reds in a game which they controlled for most parts but found themselves 2-1 down early in the second half despite taking the lead at the Forest Academy.
Sam Byram made his return from injury with Liam Bridcutt, Jamie Ward and Appiah all getting valuable game time, and it took just 16 minutes for Jimmy Gilligan’s side to take the lead when Appiah was tripped inside the area. The winger then stepped up and converted the spot-kick to give his side an early lead. But the visitors responded well, levelling the scores just four minutes later as Ken Charles slotted past Jordan Wright from a cross.
Forest continued to dominate however, with Jamie Ward going close to regaining his side the lead when he went through on goal before trying to go around the ‘keeper, who smothered the ball well, as the two sides went into the break level.
The Reds did have the ball in the net early in the second half through Yassine En-Neyah, but the striker couldn’t beat the offside trap with the linesman ruling it out. Byram was then substituted after 60 minutes in what was an impressive display by the full-back on his return from injury, being replaced by Joe Coveney.
Appiah then had the ball in the net again, but the linesman had his flag up once more, before Colchester took the lead against the run of play. Tariq Issa curled an excellent effort from 25-yards in off the post to give The U’s the lead.
The lively Appiah was then tripped again inside the area and the referee pointed to the spot for a second time. The same man stepped up and coolly converted it to score his and Forest’s second of the game as they secured a point.
Forest: Wright, Byram (Coveney), Spooner (Megaritis), Bridcutt (c), Richardson, Stewart, Johnson, Taylor, En-Neyah, Appiah, Ward (Hayes)
Subs not used: Soloha, Fornah
Goals: Appiah pen 16’, pen 80’