Adeyemi on Target on Return But 10-Man U23s Well Beaten
Monday, 15th Apr 2019 23:10 by James Ager
Tom Adeyemi scored and completed 45 minutes on his return from surgery on his achilles as Town's U23 side were well-beaten 4-1 by Nottingham Forest at Portman Road on Monday evening in their final league game of the season. The Blues were already four goals behind thanks to a hat-trick from Brennan Johnson, the son of former Town and Forest striker David, and one from Will Swan before Adeyemi pulled one back just before the break.
Coaches Gerard Nash and Chris Hogg lined their side up in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Tristan Nydam occupying a deeper central midfield berth and Adeyemi encouraged to push forward to support lone striker Colin Oppong, who has had a number of spells on trial with the Blues from Cliftonville this season.
After a quiet opening, Oppong had Town's first effort on target in the ninth minute but his low shot from distance was comfortably gathered by Forest keeper George Shelvey, moments before Adeyemi drove over from just outside the box.
However, the visitors took the lead on 18 after Adeyemi had conceded a foul on the edge of the Blues' box. Johnson stepped up and expertly curled the ball over the Town wall and into the far top corner of the net.
Johnson then doubled Forest's lead nine minutes later when Swan laid the ball off and the number seven fired a bullet of a first-time strike from 25 yards out which gave Harry Wright no chance.
The Blues, who were backed by a relatively large and noisy crowd with a contingent from supporters group Blue Action present, thought they had reduced the arrears on the half-hour mark but Adeyemi's close-range header was ruled out by referee Tom Bishop, who felt Kasinga-Madia had handled the ball moments earlier.
Within a minute the visitors had further increased their advantage when Tyrese Fornah's low shot across goal was palmed away by Wright, only for Swan to react quickest to the loose ball and fire it into the roof of the net from six yards out.
Wright did well to deny Johnson with a good block after he was played in on goal by Kieran Hayes, before Adeyemi picked up a yellow card for his unsuccessful protests that there had been a foul in the build-up to Wright's save.
On 38 Forest made it four and Johnson grabbed his third following a short freekick from skipper Jake Taylor. Unlike his first two efforts, Johnson didn't connect cleanly and although he seemed to strike the ball into the turf, into deviated up and flew into the far corner of the net.
Shortly before the break, Cotter picked up his first booking for dissent, and then with a minute of the half remaining Town managed to pull a goal back.
Kasinga-Madia played in Bailey Clements on the left and his low cross across the danger area was easily tapped home by Adeyemi from a couple of yards out.
Town almost managed to grab another before the break but Oppong's header from Idris El Mizouni's corner was deflected wide, and then Patterson's back-post header was blocked on the line and Oppong turned and hit his shot just over the bar.
Goalscorer Adeyemi was replaced at the break by Brett McGavin in what would appear to have been a pre-planned substitution, with the former Norwich man having been out of action for the majority of this season.
He certainly showed a desire to be involved and carried the Blues forward on a number of occasions, but his lack of match fitness was evident and the end of the season is probably coming at the worst possible time for the midfielder.
Four minutes after the restart, Wright did well to acrobatically claw Fornah's long-range drive away from the top corner before Zak Brown replaced the injured Pat Webber, in a move that saw Town change to a 3-4-3 formation.
On 55 a good burst forward from Nydam saw him play the ball to Kai Brown in the area, but the former Grays youngster lifted his shot well over the bar.
Wright comfortably gathered Swan's low shot and then El Mizouni hit a 25-yard effort which cannoned off a stanchion behind the goal, shortly before McGavin's deflected shot fell kindly for Shelvey.
On 77 a ball in from the left found its way to Kai Brown at the back post but he took an extra touch and his shot was deflected onto the post for a corner, which was worked to Nydam and his low drive forced Shelvey into a smart save.
Seven minutes later Nydam was booked for kicking the ball away, and then in the first minute of stoppage time Cotter collected his second yellow card - and a subsequent red - after punching the ball away into the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand after a freekick had been awarded against him.
Some clinical finishing from Forest in the first half sealed the win and Town never really recovered from a number of quick-fire goals, despite having some opportunities to get back into the game during the second half.
The Town coaching staff will have been disappointed with Cotter's lack of discipline, while both Nydam and El Mizouni played a number of fine passes forward and to switch play.
Trialist defender Patterson had a difficult night and his distribution let him down at times, although he looked strong in the air and winger Kasinga-Madia showed a few tricks and bursts forward, but faded as the game went on.
The U23s have already secured top spot in Professional Development League Two South and as a result will be at home in the play-off semi-final.
U23s: Wright, Cotter, Clements, Nydam, Patterson, Webber (Z Brown 51), K Brown, El Mizouni, Oppong, Adeyemi (McGavin 46), Kasinga-Madia. Unused: Egan, Ruffles, Healy.
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