By Brian Waller


Professional Development League

TWO unbeaten Professional Development League records went on the line at Florence Park, but Colchester United Under-23s saw theirs ended by a 5-2 defeat by Nottingham Forest's youngsters.

The visitors started well and Gerry McDonagh opened the scoring with just three minutes on the clock as he turned swiftly on the edge of the box and fired past the dive of home keeper Dan Wilks.

As Forest continued to remain on top, Lewis Walters fired into the side netting for them, but the U’s responded well and a free-kick by Tarryn Allarahkia had to be saved at full stretch by keeper Dimitar Evtimov.

Allarahkia kept the Forest keeper busy with two further good saves, but he did eventually get the U’s back on level terms with an excellent goal as he went on a 35 yard run before finding the net.

Colchester ended the half well and Evtimov was called on again to save from a header by Cole Kpekawa and the first 45 minutes ended with a hurried shot by Allarahkia that was fired wide. The U's made changes at half-time as Dan Jefferies and Dean Ager came on for Kpekawa and Diaz Wright but it stayed locked a one apiece until just after the hour mark.

First Aaron Smith fired Nottingham Forest back in front after being allowed to run a long way before scoring with a shot from just inside the box and McDonagh doubled the advantage from a penalty after a foul in the box by Jefferies, McDonagh placed his shot to the right of keeper Wilks from the penalty spot, however, Colchester retaliated with a goal of their own on 70 minutes.

Callum Jones flicked the ball on for Allarahkia to feed in Eoin McKeown and he put the chance away with a good finish.

The frantic nature continued when McDonagh then hit the outside of the post from a tight angle and the visitors appeared to seal the match with a fourth goal.

Walters fed the ball right for the supporting right-back Anel Ahmedhoozic who fired in the shot that bounced back off Wilks’ body for a simple tap in for Arvin Appiah on 76 minutes.

Wilks then had to superbly tip a shot over the bar and a glancing header from a corner was cleared off the line by Ager, so it then came as little surprise when Forest got a fifth goal.

A cross from the left by Danny Preston was glanced in off the head of Kieran Hayes to make the result safe for the visitors.

Colchester United under-23s: Dan Wilks, William Wright, Ollie Kensdale, Cole Kpekawa, Callum Sturgess, JJ Wilson, Diaz Wright, Rob Howard, Tarryn Allarahkia, Callum Jones, Eoin McKeown. Used subs: Dan Jefferies, Dean Ager, Noah Chilvers. Unused sub: Dominic Kurasik.