Report: Blues Under-23s 1 Nottingham Forest Under-23s 3

Maikel Kieftenbeld completed 45 minutes.
Maikel Kieftenbeld completed 45 minutes.

One major positive to come from the contest was the appearance of Maikel Kieftenbeld who completed the first 45 minutes without incident.


Blues Under-23s were blown away by a devastating 13-minute second-half spell from Nottingham Forest on Friday afternoon.

As good as Blues were in the first-half against the PDL2 leaders at the Trillion Trophy Training Centre, they were completely undone by a rampant Forest side after the break.

But one major positive to come from the contest was the appearance of Maikel Kieftenbeld who completed the first 45 minutes without incident.

It was the Dutch midfielder's first start in a game since last April when he damaged his ACL.

It was cagey start to the game from both sides, but Blues slowly began to hit their stride.

With 11 minutes played the hosts had their first sight on goal when Caolan-Boyd-Munce's corner found Jonathan Grounds inside the box, but the Blues defender's sidefooted effort was blocked in the six-yard box.

Moments later Blues came close to breaking the deadlock after Ryan Stirk's neat pass found Jayden Reid.

The pacy youngster burst through before letting fly with a low and hard shot which was well-saved by George Shelvey in the Forest goal.

Blues came even closer in the 21st minute after Kane Thompson-Sommers showed a superb piece of skill to beat his marker before rounding the 'keeper.

He cut back inside before curling in a shot from a difficult angle which was cleared off the line.

Blues stopper Zach Jeacock was tested for the first time midway through the half by Virgil Gomis, but he did well to deny the Forest forward.

The lively Kyle Hurst was causing the visiting defence all sorts of problems and he saw one attempt blocked before a second 20-yard shot was saved by Shelvey.

Blues were piling on the pressure now and Boyd-Munce saw his stinging effort tipped behind.

But the impressive midfielder was not to be denied for much longer as fired home a terrific goal from just outside the box on the 41st minute after being teed up by Hurst.

The goalscorer very nearly turned provider just a minute later when his clever back heel found Hurst, but his teammate's well-drilled attempt was superbly saved by Shelvey.

With the game deep into stoppage time at the end of the half, Blues had a decent shout for a penalty after Hurst appeared to be fouled, but the referee waved away the home side's appeals.

However, the complexion of the match change completely within minutes of the restart after the visitors struck two goals in quick succession.

The leveller came on 48 minutes when Blues failed to defend a corner and Yassine En-Neyah forced the ball home from close range.

And then with Blues still reeling they found themselves behind after En-Neyah's initial attempt was saved by Jeacock, but the ball dropped to Gomis who turned it home from eight yards.

Blues were really struggling now, with Forest seemingly cutting through them at will, so it was no real surprise when the visitors doubled their advantage just after the hour mark.

Blues sub Lucas Powell brought down a Forest player in a dangerous position just outside his own box. And from the resultant free-kick Brennan Johnson curled the ball into the top corner of the net.

With the game seemingly lost, Blues did show an improvement as the half went on but the closest they came to reducing the deficit was seeing Ryan Stirk's shot being deflected for a corner and then Rhys Hilton fired into the side netting.

Blues: Jeacock, Forrest (Hilton, 75), Roberts (Fernandez, h/t), Gordon, Grounds, Kieftenbeld (Fernandez, h/t), Hurst, Stirk, Reid, Boyd-Munce, Thompson-Sommers.
Subs not used: Siviter, Campbell, Hilton.