Nottingham Forest into the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup after extra-time win
JORDAN Palmer-Samuels netted two goals after coming off the bench, to propel Nottingham Forest into the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup at the expense of Bolton.
The Reds came from behind twice at the City Ground, firstly through Derrick Otim and then via a spectacular strike from Palmer-Samuels, to force the tie into extra-time at 2-2.
And the winger then netted his second of the match in the 101st minute, to steer Gary Brazil's side to a 3- 2 victory and into the last four, where they will face Premier League opposition, in the form of either Everton or Norwich over two legs.
Normally when a Clough has an influence at the City Ground, it has been for the home side, but it was Bolton who took the lead through striker Zach Clough in just the second minute, as he carried the ball across the face of the box before sending a powerful, driven shot high towards the top corner of the net.
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Bolton had smashed eight goals past Tottenham in the previous round, amid an emphatic 8-4 win. Their attacking threat was again evident early on, with Tom Youngs then almost ghosting through on goal – only denied by some alert work from keeper Jordan Smith.
Bolton's Chris Lester came close to scoring when he beat Smith to a ball on the edge of the box, after the keeper had rushed out in an attempt to clear, with the winger seeing his shot trickle wide.
The moment seemed to spark Forest into life, with Jack Blake leading a quick break that saw a Derrick Otim cross cleared from in front of goal, after keeper Jan-Ole Seivers had found himself caught out of position.
And, two minutes after that, Forest's short spell of pressure garnered an equaliser, with Blake again the catalyst, this time surging into the box before squaring for Otim, who produced a crisp, composed finish from ten yards.
When Kieran Wallace failed to properly connect with a shot, the ball broke for Lawrence Gorman on the edge of the box, who smashed a rising shot that flicked away off the bar.
Bolton were denied by the woodwork themselves, with the lively Lester skipping into the box from the right before cracking a shot against the post.
But Forest had found their confidence, turning the game into an end-to-end affair, with Blake coming close with a firmly struck shot that fizzed only a foot wide from 20 yards. While Kieran Fenton, the Reds skipper, produced a towering header that Seivers saved well.
Blake drove another shot just wide as Forest began the second half strongly.
Forest had been the stronger of the two sides in the second period – but it was Bolton who took the lead for a second time as, while attempting to clear a cross from Lester, Fenton slid the ball home.
They pulled level again seven minutes later as substitute Palmer-Samuels struck within a minute of coming on, showing great composure to twist and turn on the ball in the box to conjure up the room to strike a shot low into the corner of the net.
Palmer-Samuels might have had another in the 82nd minute, but he was inches away from making contract with a header, at the far post, at full-stretch. Otim was denied a late winner by a good save, while Palmer-Samuels also came close with a spectacular 20-yard strike.
Deep into injury time, Wallace had an effort cleared off the line, ensuring the game went into extra-time. That began with Blake having another shot charged down, following a driving run.
Palmer-Samuels put Forest ahead for the first time in the 101st minute, after fellow sub Danny Elliott drove the ball into the centre for him to convert emphatically. Wallace almost gave Forest a cushion with a low shot that Seivers saved awkwardly.
Forest: Smith, Hollingsworth, Kamaneno, Blake, Gorman, Fenton, Gnahore (Palmer-Samuels 76), Wallace, Otim, Ferrier, Thomas (Elliott 56). Subs: Ackroyd, Myles, Polimos.