10-man City fell to our first Under-18 Premier League North defeat of the season after a dramatic 4-3 loss to Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon.

Jimmy Sinclair gave the visitors the lead in the 24th minute before Danny Anijsko extended Forest’s advantage early in the second half.

Matty Warhurst halved the deficit before Connor Brown scored the visitors’ third of the afternoon.

The task then got even harder for City when substitute Harrison Parker was shown a straight red after disputing a challenge in the build-up to Forest’s third goal.

Archie Whitehall then added a fourth for Forest and the lead proved too much, despite the best efforts of Alfie Harrison who bagged a brace in added time.


A chilly breeze drifted across the CFA training pitches ahead of kick-off. But Ben Wilkinson‘s youngsters instantly turned up the temperature with a fiery start to the game.

Forest were loud and organised, trying to disrupt City’s quick passing without much joy.

The first chance fell to Warhurst who was unable to guide his header on target after an Ashton Muir cross found him perfectly at the back post less than five minutes into the game.  

22 minutes in and this time it was Harrison who looked to net the first goal.

His shot from inside the six-yard box, however, was denied by the fast reactions of Forest ‘keeper Keehan Willows who palmed the ball away from goal.

However, it was Forest who took the lead in their first attack of the game.

Jimmy Sinclair’s deflected shot was just out of reach for keeper Jack Wint and in turn gave the visitors the lead.

City went in search of a quick equaliser but Wilkinson’s youngsters found it hard to break through the 11 players that Forest had parked behind the ball.

The visitors looked to capitalise on another counter-attack shortly before the interval, with Connor Brown’s shot denied by Wint’s outstretched right foot.

However, despite City’s best efforts to start the second half strong, it was Forest who once again found the net.

Danny Anijsko’s shot proved too powerful as it flashed across the face of the goal from a tight angle before ricocheting off the far post and into the back of the net eight minutes into the second 45.

City sought an instant riposte and less than two minutes later Kian Noble’s shot was denied by a wonderful save but Warhurst was positioned well to tap the rebound home.

Once again though Forest utilised their speed to counter City.

Despite substitute Harrison Parker’s best efforts to intercept a long through ball, Forest striker Brown was able to convert and restore their two-goal lead with 20 minutes remaining.

While the visitors celebrated, Parker claimed to have been pulled to the floor during the Forest attack, and was shown a straight red for dissent.

With City a man down, Archie Whitehall was able to add his name to the scoresheet in the closing stages of normal time.  

Harrison showed grit and character to score two late goals in added time but they proved a mere consolation with City missing out on a point as a frustrating afternoon came to an end.  


Wilkinson made three changes to the starting line-up deployed in our 5-1 victory over Peterborough United in the Under-18 PL Cup.

It was Jack Wint’s week between the sticks with a regular defensive line of Ezra Carrington, Kian Noble, Stephen Mfuni and Seb Naylor just in front of the City keeper.


In midfield, Charlie Gray was positioned centrally in front of City’s defenders with Alfie Harrison and captain Jaden Heskey adding support in the middle of the pitch.

Our attacking line was led by Matty Warhurst, with Ashton Muir and Farid Alfa-Ruprecht occupying space on the left and right sides respectively.

Manchester City U18s

Starting XI: Wint, Carrington, Noble, Mfuni (66’ Parker), Naylor, Gray (66’ Fapetu), Alfa-Ruprecht (66’ Dunbar-McDonald) , Heskey © (66’ Mukasa) , Warhurst, Harrison, Muir

Subs: Fapetu, Brits, Dunbar-McDonald, Parker, Musaka

Nottingham Forest U18s

Starting XI: Willows, Sinclair, Lister, Adueni, Thompson, Robinson © (83’ Thompson), Bradshaw, Whitehall, Brown, Daly, Anisjko (83’ Smith)

Subs: Avery, Lemonakis, Blake, Smith, Thompson


We remain third in the Under-18 Premier League north division but have slipped to eight points behind league leaders Manchester United. 


Wilkinson’s squad will be back in action at the CFA next weekend when we welcome Newcastle United to Manchester.

Our game against the Magpies is scheduled for 12:30 (UK) on Saturday 4 November.

News about Man City v N Forest

Wilkinson: City will learn from “disappointing” Forest defeat

Under-18s head coach Ben Wilkinson says City will seek to learn the lessons from Saturday's “disappointing” 4-3 defeat to Nottingham Forest. Read more