Cambridge United U18 0-0 Nottingham Forest U18 *4-5 pens (FA Youth Cup Round Five) 09.02.22
As the Nottingham Forest first team produced yet another memorable evening last night, the next generation were themselves in rather important action as they travelled down to Cambridge United in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.
Reds goalkeeper Aaron Bott was forced into an early save from a Cambridge header after just four minutes played before Esapa Osong played Jordan Thompson through on six but for a brilliant recovering tackle from a U’s defender.
Glenn McConnell forced Bott into a couple more saves before the Reds shot-stopper kept Barton’s powerful effort out at the near post on eighteen.
Kyle McAdam then had two efforts well blocked inside the home teams area before Nadin had a shot blocked by a defender, Forest struggling to find a route to goal with their plucky opponents willing to throw bodies on the line.
Cambridge continued to carve out the better opportunities, Bott earning his stripes for Forest with a top save from Kai Yearn’s twenty yard free kick before the away side had their best spell of the first half, Osong hitting the side netting with just Finch in the United goal to beat on 41, before Thompson was denied by Finch from close range just two-minutes later.
In the second half, Jamie McDonnell slashed a couple of opportunities wide for Forest before Bott saved brilliantly from another Yearn free kick at the other end.
Osong then headed straight at Finch after a decent cross in from the right before Nadin tested the goalkeeper with a free kick through the wall but straight into the keepers hands.
As time ticked, both Nadin and Hipwell had chances spurned over with the Reds unable to breakdown the U’s stern defence in normal time.
With extra time permitted it was Cambridge with the first real chance of the extra half hour as Njoko shot wide after running through on goal. Osong at the other end had a couple of near misses before Aaron Bott again, was called into action with another superb save to deny Kai Yearn, Bott spreading himself from close range to keep out the home team’s star threat.
Late on there was a red card for Esapa Osong who went in on Reece Hipwell to the Referees annoyance and with the two sides locked horns after two hours of football, it would be penalties that decided the fate of who would reach the quarter finals.
Forest netting their first through Jamie McDonnell before Cambridge smashed the crossbar, with the next seven spot kicks scored it was down to Forest goalkeeper Aaron Bott, the star of the show in the 120 minutes previous, who decided to take number five for Forest, and by dispatching with confidence it was he, the main reason on the night why the home side couldn’t find a breakthrough, that had the last laugh, to send Forest through.
Ironically, the youth team of who the Reds beat last night at Ewood Park will be next in the quarter final stages of this competition too. Warren Joyce’s U18’s will travel to Blackburn for a last eight tie on February 26th. The other remaining ties are Wolves or Spurs v Brighton, Manchester United v Leicester and Chelsea v Blackpool.
Cambridge United U18: Finch, Tarpey (Sandiford 72), Hipwell, Hoddle (Braithwaite 100), Beckett, Lott (Nzeh 120), McConnell, Njoku, Yearn, Akanbi, Barton.
Nottingham Forest: Bott, Hammond, Abbott, Hanks, McAdam (Perkins 73), Thompson, McDonnell, Powell, Nadin (Korpal 113), Collins, Osong.
Venue: Abbey Stadium (978)
*Main image @NFFCAcademy a tough night for Forest who progress.