Report: Nottingham Forest Under-18s 1 Blues Under-18s 3

We are really pleased with how the boys stuck to their task.

Paul Harsley

Blues Under-18s continued their winning run with victory over Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Having fallen behind midway through the first-half when Forest scored from a cross, Blues responded emphatically to lead at the break.

George Hall levelled as the Under-18s exposed the hosts on the counterattack before Kieran Wakefield put Blues ahead as he cut inside and found the top corner with a curling shot.

Hall then scored his second in the closing stages as he outfought his marker to find the net and put the seal on matters in the East Midlands.

The win was a third on the spin for Blues and the perfect start to March, with Paul Harsley particularly pleased with how his side navigated a different test.

He told “We came up against a Forest team who were very physical and direct, it made it scrappy, but the team stood up well to it. We’ve seen a few teams try this to disrupt our play. It was pretty much what we expected but we are really pleased with how the boys stuck to their task and came away with a win and a really good performance."

Blues’ Professional Development Coach was also delighted with the reaction of his players to falling behind against the Reds.

He explained: “It was a strange start, they managed to get in front but from then until half-time we went up a gear. We matched them, not only in terms of physicality but with our quality. Being ahead at the break was deserved and showed we were the better team.”

Harsley also spoke about the performance of Hall who hit a brace in the weekend’s success.

He said: “George is one of the first-year boys doing really well. He is getting success and scoring quite regularly now. He is great and really strong at getting in behind. He, like all the boys, is getting what he deserves and that is really pleasing for all of them.”

There is now a break from league action as Blues begin their FA Youth Cup campaign with a trip to Manchester City on Friday night. And the coach reflected the mood around the team with his excitement at the challenge that lies ahead.

He said: “The boys are really looking forward to that. We will look at what we want to do in the week with our game plan. It will be a great evening to test themselves against some of the best players in the country. We are looking forward to it. We will go and enjoy it and see what we can get out of the game.”

Blues: Clayton, Dugmore (Manton 87), Sullivan, Craig (captain), Oakley, James, Williams, Hall, Wakefield, Patterson (Fogarty 46), Miller (Bellingham 60).

Unused substitutes: Barratt, Noakes.

Goalscorers: George Hall (29, 81) Wakefield (40).