Nottingham Forest 2
Byrne (12), Bamford (16)
- Match reports
- 12 January 2011 21:19
Slow-starting City paid the price for early lapses at the City Ground.
Forest took a two-goal lead thanks to strikes within five minutes of each other in the first half. There was a marked improvement from the Blues after the break, with George Evans pulling one back, but overall the home side deserved the win that sadly ended the Under 18 side’s interest in this season’s FA Youth Cup.
City showed four changes from the side that started what turned out to be an 11-goal thriller in the previous round at Oldham. Out went keeper Karius, Coulson, Drury and Robinson, in came Lawlor between the sticks, Kim Skogsrud, Rusnak and Roman.
Scott Sellars had tried to address the defensive frailties from Boundary Park by changing the goalkeeper and shuffling the back four, but sadly those frailties resurfaced after just 12 minutes. Meppen-Walter gave away a free kick and from the set-piece Byrne’s header tore past Lawlor.
It did not stay that way too long, and the home side doubled the lead five minutes later, Byrne muscling his way through to poke it home at the near post.
City were shell-shocked and struggled to get a foothold. Bunn worked tirelessly and Alex Henshall posed problems down the left but Forest custodian Gathercole was barely tested in the first half.
Meadows should have finished it for Forest just after the resumption, cutting through the defence from the right to roll the ball just wide from a tight angle. City’s first real chance did not come until the hour mark, when Meppen-Walter nodded a Henshall corner over.
But the young Blues finally got into the game with 20 minutes to go, when the home defence failed to cope with another probing corner from Henshall, George Evans drilling the ball home from close range
The goal seemed to lift both sides, and it was only last-ditch stuff from Courtney Meppen-Walter that prevented Forest from sealing the deal with 83 on the clock.
The dying seconds saw City screaming for a penalty after a Forest hand touched the ball in the area but the referee did not blow for the penalty that should have been given. Lawlor made a fine save from Bamford in the last minute of the 90, but City pressure in stoppage time at a series of corners came to nothing and the young Blues were out.