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U23 Reports


27 April 2021

Ward and Simpson on target for young Blues

Town U23s secured second spot in the Professional Development League Two South section and a play-off place courtesy of a victory over Nottingham Forest at Portman Road.

A deft flick from Matt Ward and well-taken finish from Tyreece Simpson saw the young Blues in control at half-time.

Fin Back headed in for Forest after the break but Kieron Dyer's side professionally saw out the three points against their North section counterparts.

Levi Andoh's cross from the right fell just wide of the top left corner before Bert White tipped Ateef Konate's curling effort over the top of the crossbar at the other end in a lively start to proceedings.

Blues took the lead on 16 minutes thanks to more good work down the right wing from Andoh. The full-back skipped over a challenge from Malique Spooner before his squared ball was exquisitely touched into the bottom corner by Ward.

White was called into action again with just over 10 minutes remaining in the half, the Town 'keeper comfortably collecting Billy Fewster's low effort. 

Dyer's side doubled their lead shortly afterwards through Simpson following a counter attack. The striker latched onto a through ball before using his strength to hold off Spooner and slot underneath the 'keeper from a tight angle.

Forest started the second half on top and pulled a goal back with just over an hour played as Konate, who had been denied at point-blank range by White moments earlier, saw his in-swinging corner headed into the corner of the net by Back.

Colin Oppong thought he should have had a penalty after going down in the box under pressure from Aaron Donnelly a few moments later. Having initially pointed to the spot, the referee consulted with his assistant and overturned the decision.

Tawanda Chirewa twice could've added a third in the closing stages, first seeing a deflected shot saved before firing into the side-netting after Nico Valentine's shot had fallen into his path.

Yassine En-Neyah went close to stealing a point at the other end late on but his effort fell narrowly wide from a tight angle.

Booked: Crane, Back, McDonnell, Donnelly.

Town: White, Andoh, Armin, Clements (C), Crane (Valentine 76), Alexander (Humphreys 54), Healy, Chirewa, Ward, Simpson (Oppong 65), Page.

Subs: Bort, Bradshaw.

Forest: Statham, Back, Spooner (Rama 79), McDonnell, Fernandes, Donnelly, Gibson-Hammond (En-Neyah 46), Hammond, Taylor (C), Fewster (Dekel-Daks 69), Konate.

Subs: Akera, Andrew.

Pic: Ross Halls

Town U23s are sponsored by CNet Training.

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