Monday, 22 February 2016

Nottingham Forest 3 v Birmingham City 1 - PU21DL2

"Oh mist rolling in from the Trent"
Monday 22nd February 2016
at the City Ground, West Bridgford, Nottingham
Professional U21 Development League 2
Nottingham Forest (1) 3
Deimantis Petravicius 21, Tyler Walker 52, James Thorne 74
Birmingham City (0) 1
Kyle McFarlane 64

Nottingham Forest:
Durrant, Gabriel, Gamblen (Cash 60'), Crookes, Nielsen, Iacovitti, Petravicius, Trialist (Brereton 72'), Walker, Thorne, Thomas (Yates 72')
Birmingham City:
Weaver, Cotton, Seddon, Baba, Harding, Mbende, McFarlane, Truslove, Popa (Jones 59), Brown, O'Neill.
Unused subs - Trueman, O'Keeffe, Hale
The one and only saving grace and plus side of being up and about at silly o'clock scraping ice off my car, before driving to the opposite end of the sprawling metropolis of East Retford upon Idle to partake in the daily grind of (almost) gainful employment, is that on days like today, I get away at a fairly civilised hour, which afforded me the opportunity this afternoon of picking up an extra game at the City Ground, where Nottingham Forest's development side, took on Birmingham City Under 21's, who are fast becoming my regular form of  Monday entertainment.
Though having now seen the young Blues lose twice in a week, they might start thinking I am some kind of jinx and issue me with a restraining order to keep me away from their matches in future.
Truth be told, in the final analysis, the better team won and Forest took their chances better than their visitors today.
George O'Neill missed a close range chance early on for City, when Kyle McFarlane provided him with a great pass through the Reds defence.
Blues pushed forward again but Ross Durrant denied both Steve Seddon and McFarlane, with a fine double save and the visitors were made to rue their luck in front of the goal and Durrant's heroics, when Deimantis Petravicius raced forward at the other end of the pitch, saw off two challenges and thumped an unstoppable shot past Jack Weaver.
Forest slowed the pace of the game down and adopted a patient and probing game plan, which somewhat nullified Birmingham's earlier attacking prowess, but as the half time whistle sounded, the solitary strike by Petravicius was all that separated the sides.
HT: Forest 1 v Blues 0
The next goal would be vital and Blues came quickly out of the blocks after the restart, with the Forest defence having to resort to conceded a couple of corners to keep their lively visitors at bay.
But having manned their back line valiantly Forest counter attacked at pace and were unlucky when Petravicius ran into space to get onto a great knock from the home side's captain Tyler Walker, but nudged the ball narrowly wide of the post.
Walker was proving to be a real handful for City's defence and having just almost created a second goal for his side, he took on the responsibility himself and cracked an angled past Weaver that went in off the left hand post.
A Blues & Forest legend
Birmingham introduced Alex Jones, another forward, from the bench in a bid to get back into the game and make some in roads into Forest territory. Reece Brown had an opportunity to half the arrears, but hit his free kick straight at the home side's defensive wall.
However, Brown was involved in the build up play for Blues goal on 64 minutes, when he linked up with Seddon who in turn slipped the ball into the path of McFarlane and he claimed a goal back for City, with a shot across the advancing figure of Durrant.
The goal buoyed City on and Seddon was only denied an equaliser by the prowess of the highly rated Durrant.
But, having absorbed a 'mini revival' from the visitors, Forest swept the ball forward and won a free kick 25 yards from Blues goal. James Thorne executed a sublime strike from the dead ball that gave Weaver no chance as it sailed into the top corner of the net.
Pretty much as they had done at the end of the first half, the Reds ran down the remainder of the game, with a risk free and cautious passing game, they kept a good shape and weren't about to let Blues grasb themselves another lifeline now.
A fair result, but the visitors must be kicking themselves for squandering several good chances, though coming up against Ross Durrant who was very much on top of his game today, didn't help their cause.
FT: Nottingham Forest 3 v Birmingham City 1
Right, I'm not hanging about, because I am heading to the New Manor Ground, for tonight's EvoStik Northern Premier League game, between Ilkeston and Stamford.