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Report: Under-21s fall to defeat in their cup opener against Forest

15 September 2023

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Fleetwood Town’s Development Squad fell to a 3-1 defeat in their opening game of the Premier League Cup to Nottingham Forest at Victory Park on Friday evening.

In a game that started evenly, with both sides managing to create some half-chances in the opening stages, it was a tense first 25 minutes of the clash as neither side wanted to give away too much space.

But Forest managed to find a breakthrough just before the half-hour mark as they pounced on slack play in the midfield, and it was forward Ateef Konate who placed the ball past Tom Donaghy to make it 1-0 in Chorley.

Konate wasn’t done there though as he bagged his second six minutes after his first, completing his first-half brace as goalkeeper Aaron Bott started a quick attack with a long ball, with the number 11 pounced on and doubled his side’s lead.

Disaster struck once again for the young Cods before the break as Forest were awarded a penalty in the 39th minute, which Manni Norkett slotted home their third goal of the game leaving the Under-21s with a lot of work to do in the second half.

Town started the second half a much better side, with Pharrell Brown causing all sorts of issues for the Nottingham back line, but a goal wasn’t meant to come until added time when substitute Kayden Hughes rose highest in the 93rd minute to net a consolation goal before the final whistle.

This defeat means Matt Lawlor’s side find themselves at the bottom of Group F in the Premier League Cup, with Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United drawing their opener one-all – next up for the Under-21s is an away clash against Sheffield United in the league on Tuesday 19 September at 2pm.

Town XI: Donaghy (GK), Wright, Edwards, Wilson, Johnson (C), Williams (Lane 80’), Morrison, Fishburn, White (Hughes 46’), Brown (Namputu 75’), Hoyle.

Unused subs: Cragg (GK), McLean.

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