Sheffield Utd 1-2 Nottingham Forest: Championship playoff semi-final, first leg – live! | Championship


It seems like Sander Berge has been awarded the Sheffield United goal, when getting the last touch after Jack Robinson. It was scruffy, and yet all so vital.

Bob Kirk gets in touch: “All Forest fans will now be remembering Yeovil. In the 2007 Div 3 play-offs, Forest won 0-2 at Yeovil. At the 2nd leg at the City Ground they managed to lose 2-5. Most Forest fans will tell you it was the worst game they ever saw.”

Full time: Sheffield United 1-2 Nottingham Forest

Jack Robinson’s goal has given the second leg real life, and after Forest should have been way out of sight. They may come to rue their misses and the excellence of Wes Foderingham in Blades’ goal though they also look to have by far the better attackers. Blades need to chase this one down, and that will leave plenty of opportunity on the counter.

90+4min: Last chance to get it launched for Sheffield United, but Forest clear and Alex Mighten, the sub almost escapes, only to be stopped by Wes Foderingham, way out of his goal. It’s bedlam out there and there will be more to come… that’s it. See you next Tuesday….

90+2min: Three minutes were added on, and it’s finished chaotically. Bit of beef between Stuart McCall and Steve Cooper. Could be some fun to come at the City Ground.

Goal! Sheffield United 1-2 Nottingham Forest (Robinson, 90)

Well, Jack Robinson climbs up on to a fine corner, and it may have come off his arm, and he bundles home, with Samba unable to get near. Did it come off Berge before going in? Game on for the second leg. Forest will have the Stan Collywobbles ahead of the second leg. Their booking for Wembley no longer looks so definite.

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89min: Keinan Davis finds space to shoot but Foderingham won’t be beaten from there. He’s had a good game, but let down by his defenders for both the goals.

88min: Basham blazes wide. Blades really don’t seem to be able to hit the target.

87min: Gibbs-White gets to the final defender, only for Cook to step in and then set up a counter, and off goes Djed Spence, who smashes into the side-netting. Forest want a third, they are not settling for 2-0.

85 minutes: Blades look a little short of ideas, and perhaps need to keep the score down. Johnson is still causing problems, Forest have by far the better attacking options. Johnson runs 40 yards with the ball then Lolley falls over, somewhat inexplicably, in the penalty box. Not penalty.

83min: Davis finds space, then releases Yates, whose shoulder is holding up, but he slips as he shapes to shoot.

82min: Blades change – Ben Osborn off, and the forward, Daniel Jebbison, is on.

80 minutes: Two men down for Forest. Yates’s shoulder looks done in, while Djed Spence looks to have cramped up. They both get back up, though look in some pain.

78min: Stuart McCall, a man whose hairstyle hasn’t changed since 1987 – lucky man – looks on with Paul Heckingbottom, as they try to plot a Blades way back into this game. McCall is probably speaking in his Yorkshire rather than Scots accent.

77min: Forest change: Sam Surridge off, Keinan Davis on. That’s a bad sign for Blades.

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75 minutes: Ryan Yates, patched up for this game, is holding his shoulder and James Garner looks to be carrying a knock. A reminder that Forest are still 180 minutes off from the promised land after the final whistle here.

74min: Steve Cook, such an experienced player, clears the danger once more. Forest’s back three have been excellent.

72min: Sheffield United have played very well in this half and yet they fall further behind. Forest’s greater speed and hustle at the front has made the difference. Joe Lolley, just on as a sub, was the player who hassled Egan into making that error.

Goal! Sheffield United 0-2 Nottingham Forest (Johnson, 71)

Another Blades error sets up a Forest goal. John Egan gets caught on the ball, and it slips to Brennan Johnson, who keeps his cool from him and roofs the ball into the net.

Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson (centre) celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game with team-mates. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

69min: Those subs are made: Zinckernagel off for Lolley for Forest. And Norwood off for Blades, and Baldock on, pushing Ben Osborn up to the midfield.

68min: Joe Lolley is imminent for Forest, with Zinckernagel to come off. George Baldock is coming on for Blades. Forest get on the attack, with Johnson having the ball cleared away by Stevens and behind for a corner.

66min: John Fleck tries a free-kick routine with Norwood, that Forest read but the ball still comes back in, and Cook has to clear. Then Robinson fires wide. Getting closer, the Blades.

64min: Samba has to paw the ball away as it’s launched into the Forest box. Looks like Steve Cooper is going to make a Forest change. His team from him is coming under all sorts of pressure. Coops looks a bit worried.

62min: Anyway, it’s all Blades, but they are yet to force a proper chance. Ollie Norwood is conducting traffic in his usual way. Gibbs-White’s flick is deflected away as Forest begin to defend deeper and deeper. Blades force a corner.

60 minutes: On the Sky TV broadcast, they have just shown Mark Labbett, a “Blades fan and TV celebrity”. I wondered who on Earth that was, feeling like a High Court judge for a moment then realized that’s The Beast off The Chase. Phew. How do you do, fellow kids?

59min: More Blades pushing, with Gibbs-White launching a shot that is little problem for Samba. Then, in a return to the pattern of the first half, Djed Spence sets off and forces a corner for Forest. It’s a corner wasted because the ball spins out of play.

57min: Forest a little more circumspect here. Or just waiting for the counterattack? It’s a bit of both, probably.

55 minutes: Good football from Blades, and Gibbs-White sets up Berge, who whacks wide. Better from the home team. Sheffield United are, let us recall, missing most of their attacking line-up, and Paul Heckingbottom has needed to improvise.

53min: Worrall has a shot blocked and that sets off a Blades attack and Worrall himself hurtles back to clear the danger in robbing Gibbs-White. Oliver Norwood is meanwhile booked for smashing over Jack Colback.

51 min: Joe Pearson is back: “Zinkernagel is on loan from Watford. So, even if Forest get promoted, he probably ends up back in the Championship? Sucks to be him.”

49min: More Blades attacking as Steve Cook comes across to deny Chris Basham. Forest have defended well while also looking a bit nervous with it.

47min: Blades start with a head of steam, as if they have had a good pinch of, er, snuff. Enda Stevens almost getting on the end of a Norwood ball. The problem is that Forest set off on another of those wildcat counters and John Egan has to hurry back to clear the danger.

46min: John Denver and Annie’s Song sends us back underground.

You fill up my senses,

Like a gallon of Magnet,

Like a packet of Woodbines,

Like a good pinch of snuff,

Like a night out in Sheffield,

Like a greasy chip butty,

Like Sheffield United,

Come fill me again

Na na na na na…Ooooohh!

Ok, a correction, though one I was prepared for, and thanks to Stephen Gibb and Andrew Bartlett for setting me straight. There WILL be VAR at the playoff final at Wembley. That will clear everything up, then…

From the BBC:

VAR will be introduced for the 2021-22 Championship play-off final at Wembley for the first time, the English Football League has confirmed.

Meanwhile, the league say “discussions remain ongoing” about the use of VAR in the League One and League Two finals.

Half time: Sheffield United 0-1 Nottingham Forest

Jack Colback’s goal the difference but it could have been many, many more. Forest had chance after chance and their goal only came when Ben Osborn slipped and Colback could not miss on Forest’s second bite of the cherry. It’s nervous, it’s dirty, it’s the playoffs.

45+2min: Blades concentrating on getting to half-time by defending in numbers. Going in only a goal down would be not a bad outcome.

45 minutes: The Bramall Lane PA announcer is feeding back like the Jesus & Mary Chain’s Taste The Floor but we are told it’s three more minutes of this half.

44min: Hello, it’s going off. Jack Robinson of Blades and Djed Spence of Forest get in a tangle, both are booked for leaving their boots where they needn’t be. Remove a few yellows stacking up now.

42min: Forest have Blades pinned back but Gibbs-White tries to get away, and he’s brought down by Zinckernagel, who takes the booking for a tactical foul.

40 minutes: Foderingham keeping Blades in this, making a fine save from Spence. What a game he’s had. On the sidelines, Steve Cooper’s eyes are even wider than normal – this may yet be a choke in the offing. Forest could be as many as four goals up.

39 min: Joe Pearson again: “Since the playoff final will be at Wembley, will they use VAR?”

Believe the answer is not but prepared to be corrected on that.

38min: Johnson, released by Zinckernagel and Surridge, on another of those Forest breaks. Foderingham is beaten but so is the post. Forest piling up the chances.

Nottingham Forest's Brennan Johnson rues a missed chance.
Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson rues a missed chance. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

36min: Ryan Yates – big miss – it came from Worrall’s great ball, and that should have been 2-0 to Forest. That’s the nerves. Forest keep making chances on the break but they will know they have to score one soon.


www.theguardian.com

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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