Forest Take Playoff Advantage

Sheffield United 1-2 Nottingham Forest (EFL Championship Playoff Semi-Final 1st leg) 14.05.22

Nottingham Forest are in pole position going into Tuesday night’s second leg against Sheffield United, despite a late set back at Bramall Lane.

The Reds took the lead after ten minutes when Sam Surridge got free down the right to cross low for Zinckernagel who’s shot was saved by Wes Foderingham with the rebound falling kindly for Jack Colback to finish off.

The Blades had an opportunity to level when a corner swung in was headed towards goal by John Egan but cleared off the line by Surridge in the right place to head away.

Ryan Yates went close with a header wide as the away side looked fully in control of their destiny, the better team, probing for a second to gain full advantage of the tie.

That second goal did eventually come, Joe Lolley robbed John Egan of possession and ran through on goal, slipping the ball inside to Brennan Johnson who smashed home to send the travelling army of Forest fans wild.

More than the Reds deserved? Not at all, Steve Cooper’s side fully dominant and deserving, but a last minute corner by United, swung in and missed by everyone bar the head of Sander Berge, might be the lifeline that keeps Sheffield in the tie. A single goal margin now separating the sides going into Tuesday night’s thriller at the City Ground.

Reds Manager Steve Cooper stating after “It was a brilliant first leg. I thought we were really good in the first half with the amount of chances we created, taking the lead with a well-worked goal and creating even more chances.

“Second half, Sheffield United had more of the ball than we would have liked. They had a couple of half chances, but we looked comfortable and we knew we could get them on the turnovers and we did.

“We created loads of opportunities throughout the game, in the end we just didn’t take them.

“The reality is that if somebody said before the game you’d get back on the bus with a positive deficit, you would take it.

“The dressing room is really positive and we’re looking forward to Tuesday now.”

Half time in the playoff semi-final but advantage Forest, who are just ninety minutes from Wembley with it all in their own hands.

Sheffield United: Foderingham, Basham, Egan, Robinson, Osborn, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens (Norrington-Davies 89); Berge, Gibbs-White, Ndiaye.

Nottingham Forest: Samba, Worrall, Cook, McKenna, Spence, Yates, Garner, Colback, Zinckernagel (Lolley 69), Johnson,Surridge (Davis 77).

Venue: Bramall Lane (30,225)

*Main image @NFFC Djed Spence in action for Forest in Sheffield.

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