U21s Report: Leeds United 5-1 Nottingham Forest

U21s Report: Leeds United 5-1 Nottingham Forest

Five-star performance at Thorp Arch.

Premier League 2 Division 2

Leeds United 5 (Allen 45’, Gyabi 51’, Perkins 68’, McCalmont 74’, Dean 90’)

Nottingham Forest 1 (Esapa Osong 11’)

Leeds: Christy (GK) (C), Sutcliffe, McCalmont, Mullen, Moore, Gyabi, Perkins (Spencer 83’), Gray, Joseph (Miller 88’), McGurk (Dean 78’), Allen. Subs not used: Brook (GK), Ferguson. 

Forest: R. Hammond (GK), B. Hammond, Powell, J. Perkins, McAdam, Thompson, Gibson-Hammond (Gardner 74’), Collins, Esapa Osong (Nadin 65’), Larsson, Salmon (C) (Bailey 27’). Subs not used: Bott, Sinclair.

Venue: Thorp Arch

Referee: Scott Jackson 

Booked: Gray (Leeds), Powerll (Forest).

A top-quality display from Michael Skubala’s side saw them hit five five for the second time this season, as they came from behind to defeat Nottingham Forest Under-21s at Thorp Arch. 

An important goal from Charlie Allen just before the break was the equaliser for the Whites, before four unanswered second-half goals from Darko Gyabi, Sonny Perkins, Alfie McCalmont and Max Dean secured an emphatic victory.

Forest were winless coming into the match, but Skubala’s side had amassed seven points from their opening three matches, which included a win away at Aston Villa last time out. 

The away side did take the lead in this Premier League 2 Division 2 clash though, with an early well-worked goal. Alex Gibson-Hammond broke free down the wing and crossed into the middle, where Detlef Esapa Osong was well-placed to turn home and put Forest ahead.

Despite being behind, Leeds were largely dominant. Kris Moore and Perkins both came close but were denied by a resilient defence and Ryan Hammond between the posts for the Reds. In a flurry of chances, next to go close was Sean McGurk, forcing another good save. 

In what was looking a frustrating first 45 minutes for Skubala’s team, McGurk went close again, before top-scorer going into the match Mateo Joseph appeared to be denied by a Forest hand. However, nothing was given and play was waved on.

Shortly before the break, Archie Gray picked up possession on the edge of the box and played a clever ball the Allen. The midfielder knew exactly what he wanted to do, firing low into the bottom corner levelling things up just before the whistle.  

HALF TIME: Leeds United 1-1 Nottingham Forest

After a first half full of chances that came and went, the second half wasn’t goalless for long, with Leeds establishing themselves into an early lead on home turf.

Gyabi picked up the ball on the left-hand-side of the pitch, before driving into the middle and unleashing a powerful effort at goal, which saw the ‘keeper get fingertips to it, but he couldn’t keep out the striker which found the bottom corner and put Leeds ahead. 

The goalscoring floodgates were now open and Forest would have to come out of their defensive shape, to try and get themselves back on level terms, which would mean spaces were left for Leeds to exploit. 

Keeping up his 100 per cent record having scored in every match so far, Perkins continued that run. He seized on Gyabi’s ball on the edge of the box, before smashing in a left-footed strike which gave Hammond no chance in the Forest net, and increased the score to 3-1.

Shortly after, three became four, and the points were all-but sealed. Again, Gyabi was the creator, continuing an impressive display as he played McCalmont into the box. The midfielder took an almost-perfect first touch, before curling into the back of the net. 

In the final seconds, the fifth goal arrived. Dean had been out with injury but returned with a bang, as he came on for the final 10 minutes or so in the match. The striker was alert at the back-post to take his opportunity, finishing well to wrap up the scoring in stoppage time.

An excellent win for Skubala’s side extends the unbeaten run to four at the beginning of the campaign. Next up for Leeds is a trip to face West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, on Friday 9th September. 

FULL TIME: Leeds United 5-1 Nottingham Forest