Forest made it tricky for City in the first half, as a goal from Jack Nadin gave the hosts the lead.
Nadin grabbed his double moments into the second half, before Joel Ndala’s whipped cross forced Danni Anijsko to bundle the ball into his own net.
And it was Jaden Heskey who scored the equalising goal late on, as we moved within two points of Sunderland at the top of the league.
The hosts made it difficult for City in the opening 10 minutes and capitalised on that early pressure with a goal.
Jack Nadin’s initial effort in the box was blocked but the second ball landed at his feet, and he beat True Grant on a one-on-one to give Forest the breakthrough.
Moments later, the City goalkeeper was forced into a back pass which led to an in direct free kick, that was bravely blocked by a wall of blue bodies on the line.
However, it didn’t take long for Ben Wilkinson’s side to get a grip on the game with time in possession allowing us to build up through the thirds.
Justin Oboavwoduo rattled the crossbar after a thunderous strike before the ball dropped to Emilo Lawrence who had an effort sting the palms of Aaron Bott in the Forest goal.
The intensity of the game grew with both teams having opportunities, Lawrence was next to bring Botts into action who read the wingers finesse shot well with a fine stop.
Forest started the second half like they did the first, with City unable to get going, Nadin fired in his brace, to give us work to do.
But we weren’t unfamiliar to this position, with City already coming back to pick up points on four occasions this season.
Five minutes later, Joel Ndala provided some superb wing play, as he evaded three Forest defenders before powering a cross to the back post, which was bundled in by Forest’s Danni Anijsko, to give us hope.
The east Midlands outfit were pressured into their own third, after City hemmed their players into an 11-man defensive block, as we pushed for the equaliser.
After driving into the box Lawrence smacked the crossbar, before Ndala forced Botts into a spectacular diving save, as frustrations grew amongst the City camp.
But it was substitute Jaden Heskey, who provided a poacher’s finish, as he was the first to a loose ball in the six-yard box.
Our young outfit pushed right to the final whistle for a winning goal which would have put us back to the summit, but it wasn’t to be as we walked away with a point.
HOW WE LINED UP
Nottingham Forest Under-18s
XI: Bott, Hammond, Hanks, Thompson, Abbott, McAdam (C), Whitehall, Gardener, Brown, Nadin, Powell
SUBS: Willows, Anijsko, Gbopo, Sinclair, Robinson
Manchester City Under-18s
XI: Grant, Naylor, Alleyne (C), Simpson-Pusey, Samuel, Whittingham, Wright, Okeke, Ndala, Oboavwoduo, Lawrence
SUBS: Murray-Jones, Dada-Mascoll, Harrison, Heskey, Muir
WHAT IT MEANS
A point for City moves them to within two points of league leaders Sunderland, who have a game in hand over us.
City take a break from league action next week as we play host to Blackburn Rovers at the City Football Academy in the FA Youth Cup.
Kick off is scheduled for 19:00 (UK) on Wednesday 14 December.
This is before we foresee a Christmas break, which doesn’t see us play a game until Saturday 7 January when Newcastle United visit.
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