Nottingham Forest Under 23s stretched their unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions after they were held to a 0-0 draw against Stoke City at The Nigel Doughty Academy.
The Reds created the better opportunities over the course of the 90 minutes, but Stoke stood firm as both sides claimed a point in the Premier League Cup.
Forest started the brighter of the two teams and created a couple of good chances in the opening exchanges. Firstly, Zach Clough jinked inside onto his right foot before firing a low shot straight at Blondy Nna Noukeu. Then moments later, Owen Gallacher’s cross found Brennan Johnson in space, but he fired the ball over the crossbar.
Johnson came close again on 24 minutes as his dipping free-kick from just outside the penalty area was heading towards the corner of the net, but the goalkeeper tipped the ball around the post.
As the half wore on, The Reds continued to press and pin Stoke inside their own half. Clough had a first-time effort blocked before Johnson weaved past a couple of defenders, but dragged a shot wide.
Chances were few and far between at the beginning of the second period as both teams tried to get a foothold on what was a windy afternoon at the club’s training ground.
Just nine minutes after the restart, Stoke were reduced to ten-men after Ash Kigbu was sent off following a late tackle on Julian Larsson.
The red card allowed Forest to conjure-up more opportunities, but the visitors defended resolutely. Johnson fired over from range whilst being under pressure, before a last-ditch block denied Larsson from drilling into the bottom corner.
Stoke’s best opportunity of the contest fell on 73 minutes. Ryan Corrigan’s delivery from the right-wing was met by William Forrester at the back post, however, he poked the ball wide from close-range.
Johnson could’ve won it for Forest with just four minutes left on the clock. The forward was found one-on-one with Nna Noukeu, but his powerful shot was well saved by the onrushing ‘keeper.
Moments later, the referee blew the final whistle which saw The Reds picked up their fourth point in the Premier League Cup this season and continued their good run of form.
Images kindly provided by Callum Jordan.
Forest: Statham, En-Neyah, Gallacher, Stewart, Harbottle, Preston, Johnson, Barnes (Hayes 60’), Larsson (Rama 73’), Edser, Clough (Gomis 73’)
Subs not used: Liburd-Hines, Sodiende