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Report: Bristol City U23s 3-4 Nottingham Forest U23s

An action-packed second half saw City Under-23s lose their first home league game since October, as they were defeated 4-3 by Nottingham Forest.

Under the lights at BS3, Matty Taylor put City in front, before Jayden Richardson equalised to force even-stevens at the break.

City took a 3-1 lead in the second half, with Marley Watkins and Tom Richards scoring within minutes of each other.

However, Forest produced a remarkable comeback to score three times in the remaining 20 minutes, with a Yassine En-Neyah double, as well as a goal from Kieran Hayes.

Luke Williams named a strong side for the visit of Forest, with the away side also naming several first team players amongst their starting eleven.

And it only took three minutes for City to go in front. Kasey Palmer broke forward well, and found Taylor in acres of space. The 28-year-old finished emphatically beyond Jordan Wright in the Forest goal.

Taylor and Palmer would combine minutes later and were within inches of doubling the lead when a poor clearance from the goalkeeper fell into Taylor’s path. The striker fed Palmer, whose effort ended just wide of the post.

The away side would have their first foray forward via a set piece. Brennan Johnson’s free kick flashed across the City goal but evaded any touch.

Forest would come forward again, as a pass through the middle saw Joao Carvalho run through on goal. The Portuguese player wasn’t able to get a shot away however, as a brilliant sliding challenge from Chris Turner-Williams saw City clear the danger.

Again, Palmer was City’s biggest threat going forward. The 22-year-old attacking midfielder pinched the ball from a defender, before curling his effort just wide of the post.

Forest would be level just after the half hour mark though. Arvin Appiah found Richardson unmarked in the City area and he fired beyond Max O’Leary for their equaliser.

The final chance of the first half would fall to the away side but Diogo Gonçalves’ free kick was wide of O’Leary’s goal.

But it was the first clear chance of the second half that would lead to City regaining the lead. Niclas Eliasson delivered an inch-perfect cross for Watkins, who headed in.

It would be three only moments later. This time Hakeeb Adelakun powered forward and found Richards, who finished comfortably beyond the Forest goalkeeper.

Nottingham Forest would level the game from two chances in as many minutes. En-Neyah headed in for their second, before Hayes added a third minutes later.

And the away side would go in front five minutes from time, with En-Neyah adding his second and Forest’s fourth.

Attention for the Under-23s will switch to their next Professional Development League game, as they travel away to Crewe Alexandra on March 13th.

City Under-23s: O’Leary, Turner-Williams, Eliasson, Walsh, Smith, Baker, Watkins, Morrell, Palmer (Richards), Taylor (Rees), Adelakun. Unused subs: Carey, Ali.

Words: Ryan Payne