Nottingham Forest U23 (3) – QPR U23 (2)

Premier League Cup

Team: Halwax, Drewe, de Wijs, Mahorn, Owens, Bettache, Ajose, Remy, Alfa, Aveiro, Kargbo

Subs Not Used: Middlehurst, Bala

Attendance: 126

After parking up, we headed for the Alfreton Town Social Club, situated adjacent to the ground.

Surprised, but pleased, it was good to see Jordy de Wijs’ name on the team sheet.

Under the glare of a full moon, the R’s got off to an assertive start. Brandon Aveiro burst forward into the box and his effort was deflected behind for a corner.

Then, just after, Joseph Ajose sped off to the bye-line and his cross resulted in another corner.

However, it was the home side who took the lead after 16 minutes when Aaron Donnelly’s header at the far post, found the back of the net.

Rangers then fashioned another good opportunity after  Ody Alfa’s shot from just inside the box, was deflected into Nicky Hogarth’s gloves. Hamzad Kargbo’s header just wide of the post swiftly followed.

At the other end, an excellent pass split the QPR defence,which resulted in a superb double save from Harry Halwax.

Moments later, the R’s scored a well-deserved equaliser. Joseph Ajose’s deep, in-swinging cross was nodded in at the far post by Hamzad Kargbo.

Chances continued at both ends. Aveiro’s low shot was saved. Trent Mahorn was booked after committing a foul just outside the box. Harry Halwax comfortably saved the free kick.

The R’s keeper made another great save and the Forest custodian stopped Kargbo’s effort with his legs after they had faced each other, one-on-one.

Rangers took the lead just before the half-time whistle. After Hogarth had managed to put Ajose’s powerful shot behind, Jordy de Wijs headed the ball into the net at the far post from the resulting corner. Half-time: 2-1.

For the start of the second-half, Mason McLean and 17-year-old Sam Bagan replaced Jordy de Wijs and Ody Alfa respectively. With two defenders being brought on, Brandon Aveiro moved over to the left-flank.

Hamzad Kargbo was booked in the early stages and minutes later Forest were awarded a penalty. Harry Halwax then made a great save from Julian Larsson’s spot-kick.

The R’s keeper later made another excellent save, but Forest equalised on 63 minutes. Fin Back finished after responding to the ball coming off the post.

Halwax made another superb save following a swift counter-attack after Faysal Bettache had lost possession. On 73 minutes, Alex Aoraha was introduced at the No. 8’s expense.

The Reds were having the best of the second-half. HamzadKargbo headed one off the line and a very dangerous low cross somehow evaded a Forest player in the six-yard box!

Joseph Ajose did force a very good save from Nicky Hogarth, but Forest scored the winner in the 88th minute. Although Halwax managed to get a hand to Larsson’s low strike, it still found the bottom corner.

Two added minutes were signalled. Mr Middleton booked Aaron Drewe after a shove on a Forest player prior to the final whistle.

The return journey took around an hour longer than anticipated due to parts of two motorways being closed for road works. Thanks to Sammy for the lift home.

Steve Russell