Peterborough United couldn’t take advantage of first-half dominance as they bowed out of the FA Youth Cup to Nottingham Forest

Peterborough United bowed out of the FA Youth Cup at the hands of Nottingham Forest tonight (January 18) after an excellent first-half turned into a frustrating second period at the Weston Homes Stadium.

By Alan Swann
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 9:40 pm
Kellan Hickinson in action for Posh against Nottingham Forest in the FA Youth Cup. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com
Kellan Hickinson in action for Posh against Nottingham Forest in the FA Youth Cup. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com

The Posh kids were much the better side in this fourth round tie before the break, but didn’t turn round in front as Kellon Hickinson’s splendid goal only cancelled out a rather soft opener from Forest’s Dale Taylor.

But it was a different story after the interval as Forest filled the space Posh had enjoyed and turned the contest into a scrap. Their winning goal 20 minutes from time didn’t come as a surprise.

The tie was so eagerly anticipated many fans were still queuing outside when the game kicked off. The attendance inside was swollen by the presence of the entire first-team squad.

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Will Van Lier in action for Posh Youths against Nottingham Forest. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com

They would presumably have enjoyed what they saw before the break. All the positive, accurate passing, direct running and excellent movement came from Posh.

They were particularly strong down the right where full-back Janos Bodnar, a Hungarian youth international impressed.

One early Bodnar cross was headed weakly at goal by former Forest striker Lewis Darlington before Will Van Lier’s aggressive burst forward was ended by a trip on the edge of the Forest area. Van Lier took the free kick, but planted the ball into the vacant DeskGo Stand.

It was against the run of play then when Forest took the lead in the 16th minute. Taylor had already wriggled into the Posh area before shooting wide five minutes earlier. Now Taylor was probably as surprised as anyone that a long, straight ball defeated the Posh defence and he was able to gallop clear. He went round Posh ‘keeper Will Lakin and tapped into an empty net.

Posh Youth team manager Jamal Campbell-Ryce (second left). Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com

Posh regained their composure quickly though and started to weave pretty patterns in midfield and down the right flank.

Hickinson levelled on 26 minutes with a terrific 20-yard hit after turning his man on the edge of the area.

More excellence from Bodnar and Roddy McGlinchey set up Gabe Overton for a shooting chance, but he fired wide before another Van Lier run ended with a foul and a Van Lier set-piece strike that sailed over the crossbar.

But Posh couldn’t maintain their form in the second-half. Forest matched up the Posh diamond and the freedom enjoyed by Van Leir and Hickinson in particular disappeared.

Joe Gardner missed a sitter for Forest after Posh had been opened up down the left in the 54th minute and the visitors started to boss the ball.

And then came a pivotal 60 seconds. Posh had created nothing until Bodnar and Overton combined before the former shot just over in the 70th minute. A minute later Forest attacked, hit the crossbar from close range only for Jack Nadin to tap in from inches as Posh appealed in vain for offside.

Forest continued to dominate and Detlef Esapa Osong hit the bar from six yards.

Hickinson did shoot just over from 20 yards, but Posh had run their race by then. They looked out on their feet as well as out of the cup.

Posh: William Lakin, Janos Bodnar, Oscar Tonge, Harry Titchmarsh, Oliver Rose, Harry Thomas, Roddy McGlinchey, William Ven Lier, Lewis Darlington, Kellan Hickinson, Gabriel Overton.

Subs: Reuben Marshall, Matthew Laycock, Ben Challinor, Theo Lukyamuzi, Harley Mills, Joel Painstil.

Forest: Aaron Batt, Zach Abbott, Joshua Powell, Sam Collins, Ben Hammond, Justin Hanks, Joe Gardner, Jaime McDonnell, Detlef Esapa Osong, Jack Nadin, Dale Taylor.

Subs: Alex Akers, Kyle McAdam, Jack Thompson, Ben Perry, Aaron Korpal, Pharrell Johnson, Theo Robinson.

Goals: Posh - Hickinson (26 mins).

Forest - Taylor (16 mins), Nadin (71 mins).