Nottingham Forest Under 18s came from a goal down on Saturday afternoon at The Nigel Doughty Academy as they claimed a 3-1 victory over Bristol City.
Luke Boland sparked the comeback for Forest as he buried his penalty before one of The Reds’ trialists put them ahead after the break and Detelf Esapa Osong added a third to ensure a comfortable victory for Gareth Holmes’s side.
Despite dominating the opening minutes of the game, The Reds found themselves behind in the seventh minute. City's goalkeeper pinged a great goal-kick into the Forest half and into the feet of William Gould. The pacey winger charged towards the Forest box before smashing a strong effort over Michael Statham’s head in goal and into the back of the net.
The Reds then began their hunt for an equaliser and came agonisingly close five minutes later. A powerful cross was whipped into the away side’s area that met Finley Back. Back smacked a first time effort that looked certain to curl into the top corner but the ‘keeper pulled of a terrific save to deny the Forest youngster.
Forest were gifted their chance to draw level on the 26th minute after The Reds’ Trialist A was brought down in the area. Luke Boland stepped up to take the spot kick for Forest and he remained composed in front of goal as he nestled his effort into the bottom right-hand corner.
Forest took the lead for the first time of the afternoon early into the second half as Trialist A made it 2-1 on the 47th minute. Oliver Hammond squared a shirt pass in The Robins’ box to Trialist A who took a touch and hammered a low effort that fortunately bounced in of the far right-hand post.
Statham produced two brilliant saves for Forest after the hour mark to ensure his side maintained their lead. The first saw him push a strong free-kick over the crossbar with a finger tip save and the other came minutes later as he parried another long distance effort over his goal.
Substitute Osong doubled The Reds’ lead after only five minutes on the pitch. Luca Doorbar-Baptist sliced a terrific long pass through the Bristol City defence and onto the on-rushing Reds’ Trialist A. He saw his shot come bouncing back off the far left-hand side goal post but Osong was on hand to ensure the ball crossed the goal line to seal all three points.
Forest: Statham, Bello, Spooner (Doorbar-Baptist 46’), Sanders (c), Boland, Mutoti, Gibson-Hammond (Darlington 86’), Hammond, Trialist A, Back, Trialist B (Osong 68’)
Subs not used: Liburd-Hines, Fankwe
Bookings: Bello 39’, Doorbar-Baptist 64’, Mutoti 76’
Goals: Boland 26’, Trialist A 47’, Osong 73’