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Garita effort not enough for Under-23s

Arnold Garita returned from injury with a goal for City Under-23s, but it wasn’t enough as Luke Williams’ side suffered a late 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Garita has been blighted by injuries throughout pre-season but announced his comeback with a fantastic header to give the development squad the lead at the Impact Arena.

But Gerry McDonagh restored parity just before half-time and then Aaron Smith sealed victory for the home team at the death.

Garita actually had the ball in the net within 60 seconds of the kick-off. However, the Cameroonian forward was halted from celebrating by the assistant referee’s flag for offside.

There was nothing to prevent Garita on 20 minutes, however, as the big forward rose to head in Taylor Moore’s pinpoint cross for the opening goal of the game.

However, the home side clawed their way back into the game and levelled on the stroke of half-time as Gerry McDonagh cut in from the right flank and fired into the top corner past Jojo Wollacott.

Opi Edwards was inches away from putting City back in front soon after the restart as he took aim from the edge of the box. Stephen Henderson, the former City keeper who was between the sticks for Forest, danced across his goal but watched it curl just past the post.

At the other end Wollacott produced a fantastic save to deny McDonagh a second on the night.

With time ticking away Aaron Parsons was caught by a stray arm and had to leave the pitch, leaving City – who had made all three substitutions – down to ten men.

With the man advantage Forest stole victory two minutes from time as Smith completed a swift counter attack by rounding Wollacott to slot in.

City Under-23s: Wollacott, Moore, Parsons, Harvey Smith (A.Harper 57), Pring, Edwards, Morton (Akpobire 50), Richards, Nurse, De Girolamo, Garita (Richards 50). Sub not used: Sesay.