Nottingham Forest U23 3-0 Sunderland AFC U23
Sunderland Under-23s suffered defeat on Monday night in the Premier League 2, as three goals in the final 20 minutes saw Nottingham Forest run out winners at Notts County’s Meadow Lane.
Julian Larsson’s penalty 70 minutes in opened the scoring, before Riley-Jay Harbottle and Aaron Donnelly added further goals to gloss the scoreline for a strong Forest side, whom the young Lads defended well against for much of the contest.
The match saw Vinnie Steels make his return from injury to play 45 minutes in Nottinghamshire, with Ugonna Emenike and captain Sam Wilding also in from the start.
An open but ultimately goalless first half ensued, with Jacob Carney pulling off several strong saves from Larsson, Donnelly and Will Swan. Cameron Jessup’s crucial block also denied Larsson with the final action for the break.
Loic Mbe Soh also came close with a side-footed effort over the crossbar, whilst for Sunderland, Caden Kelly whipped a shot just wide in the opening stages before Steels tested goalkeeper George Shelvey from a tight angle.
Chances dried up slightly in the first 20 minutes of the second half, although Kelly and substitute Nicky Gyimah both stung the hands of Shelvey, and Forest’s regular counter-attacks on Meadow Lane’s large pitch were a challenge for the Lads as the game wore on.
The hosts eventually broke the deadlock when Ateef Konate sprinted in behind and was brought down by Henry Fieldson inside the area – Larsson’s powerful penalty finding the left-hand corner despite Carney’s hand to it.
It was two soon after, as Harbottle’s header from a cross from the right-hand side found the top corner.
And Donnelly made it three as he cut inside onto his right foot and curled an effort just inside the far post.
The young Lads will now look to recover and get back to winning ways next Monday, with a Wearside night under the lights looming at the Stadium of Light against Burnley.
SUNDERLAND AFC U23: Carney; Kachosa, Jessup, Johnson, Emenike (Fieldson 55’); Wilding ©, Sohna (Gardiner 80’); Trialist, Scott, Steels (Gyimah 46’); Kelly.
Subs not used: McIntyre, Jones.