Mark Hudson's Under-23s draw at Nottingham Forest
- Town come from behind to draw away at Forest
- Crichlow-Noble and Dom Tear on target for The Terriers
- Under 23 debuts for Luke Mewitt and Oran Thompson
Mark Hudson’s U23 side overturned a half time deficit to draw 2-2 away at Nottingham Forest.
The starting line-up included two debuts at U23 level as Luke Mewitt started in goal whilst Oran Thompson featured at centre back.
The game started in the perfect fashion for Town as the team scored the opening goal in the fifth minute.
Lewis O’Brien was causing the Forest defence problems on the right wing as he beat his man to earn Town a corner. Regan Booty took the set piece and planted the ball onto the head of Romoney Crichlow-Noble (pictured). The defender, who was partnering Thompson at centre back, rose excellently to meet the ball and power a header into the net. The goal opened the game’s scoring and was Crichlow-Noble’s first goal in this age level.
Forest responded in immediate fashion though and five minutes later they had their equaliser. A mazy run from Barrie McKay presented the Forest number 10 with an opportunity that Luke Mewitt was powerless to keep out as it nestled in the far corner to draw the sides level.
Making his 20th appearance of the season for the Under-23s, Regan Booty was influential in the heart of the Town midfield, making several key interceptions in the opening proceedings. Town then saw a free kick intercepted by McKay, and with Mewitt rushing out, McKay flicked the bouncing ball goal wards, but Oran Thompson was on hand to clear from the goal line.
Thompson was enjoying a confident display despite it being his debut with the U23s and was clearly helped by his previous 18 appearances with the U18s to date this term. His passing was a particular highlight as Mark Hudson encouraged the players around him to make angles for Thompson to pass in to.
As the half wore on, Town struggled to get the ball up the field to supply Rekeil Pyke. The striker did receive the pass in behind the defence on one occasion, but the offside flag was there to deny Town a goal scoring opportunity.
With the game nearing the half time break, the home side took the lead for the first time. The 37th minute saw the influential McKay involved as he broke into the Town box before unselfishly squaring the ball to Aaron Smith. The Forest number 9 took a touch and although Crichlow-Noble tried to block the shot, he was unable to keep it out as it rolled into the goal.
The half time whistle blew with the young Town side trailing by one-goal.
Within two minutes of the restart, Mewitt was called into action as he got down well to parry a low shot, before Crichlow-Noble completed the job by clearing the ball into touch.
Just before the hour mark, Mark Hudson made his first change of the game. Debutant Oran Thompson left the field for Isaac Marriott shortly before Olly Dyson replaced Scott High.
The substitutes were immediately involved as in the 68th minute, brilliant work from Marriott saw him create space for himself on the right flank. Marriott beat his man and drilled the cross, and although he got his feet in a bit of a mix, Dom Tear got enough on the ball to direct it into the net and level for Town.
Just four minutes after the equaliser, Town was probing again with Tear provider this time picking out Olly Dyson, but the substitute could not direct his shot goal wards as he put it narrowly wide of the left post.
Town was the team on top and if there was to be a winner it looked like it would be the away side who would score it. Regan Booty had a couple of chances to find a teammate from set pieces but he couldn’t manage to pick one of them out.
There was just time for another Luke Mewitt save to add to his growing catalogue. The debutant could not do much for either of Forest’s goals, but overall, he put in a solid debut performance between the sticks for Hudson’s side.
The game ended 2-2 and it was a fair refection of the game. Both teams had spells on top but neither managed to dominate proceedings enough to warrant all three points.
Town Starting Line-Up (4-2-3-1):
Luke Mewitt; Mason O’Malley, Romoney Crichlow-Noble, Oran Thompson (Isaac Marriott 57’), Jordan Williams; Scott High (Olly Dyson 62’), Regan Booty; Dom Tear, Matty Daly, Lewis O’Brien; Rekeil Pyke (Micah Obiero 75’)