Report: Nottingham Forest Under-18s 0 Blues Under-18s 1

Oumar Traore
Oumar Traore, who led the line well for Blues

It was a fine start to 2019 for Blues, defeating the league leaders on their own patch

Blues kicked-off the New Year with a deserved victory, defeating PDL leaders Forest at the Nigel Doughty Academy.

Jude Bellingham scored the only goal of the game in a first-half where Blues played some excellent football.

Steve Spooner’s side started the game very brightly, limiting Forest to little possession whilst causing their defence numerous problems.

George Baker had a chance in the early stages but his tame effort was easily collected by goalkeeper Michael Statham.

Blues were dominant in the first period but they just seemed to lack a bit of necessary quality for the final ball as they could have put the game to bed by half-time.

However, Blues did break through the hosts defence when Kyle Hurst, after beating a couple of players, cut the ball back and Bellingham fired in (20 minutes).

Considering the hosts were not able to get into much of a rhythm in the first-half, they had a good chance to equalise when Alex Hammond hit his shot over the bar from a dangerous position.

Forest came out in the second-half a lot hungrier and were able to disrupt the momentum Blues had built in the first period as they started to gain a foothold.

Although the hosts were starting to gain control, Blues’ defence was resolute in keeping Forest’s attackers out.

Forward Oumar Traore had a fine game as his hold-up play was excellent in bringing his teammates into it and the French youngster had a great chance to double Blues’ lead but he was denied by a great Statham save.

As Forest kept throwing men forward for set-pieces and attacks they left themselves vulnerable at the back.

Winger Hurst came close to scoring when he was able to wriggle his way past a number of red shirts from the left before unleashing a shot that went just wide.

Hurst also had a claim for a penalty when he made his way into the are before appearing to be clipped by a defender but the referee waved away the appeals.

Blues’ goalkeeper Zach Jeacock who was not troubled much throughout but made a great diving save to deny Ethan Dekel-Daks free-kick to presever the lead.

Late on, substitute Rhys Hilton looked to secure the three points for Blues after he burst into Forest’s half on a counter-attack and his chipped effort beat Statham but bounced onto the crossbar and out.

Blues: Jeacock, Powell, Forrest, Roberts, Baker, Walker (Hilton 76), Stirk, Campbell, Hurst, Bellingham, Traore. Subs not used: Clayton, Finnegan, Craig, Kinina.