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Nottingham Forest Vs Sheffield United
An electrifying atmosphere greeted the duo on the pitch as the Blades looked to return to the top flight after two years, while Forest looked ready to end their 23-year absence.
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The visiting team scored the first goal in the 10th minute with Colback’s first goal.
They could have stayed in front but Wes Foderingham in the Blades net denied clear efforts from Sam Surridge and Johnson to keep it 1-0.
In contrast, forest attacks were few and far between in the second period; Joe Lolley capitalized on a defensive error to help Johnson make it two but the Blades hit back late on to give them hope for the second leg thanks to Sander Berge’s header.
The opener came when Joe Worrall sent Surridge scurrying up the pitch, his cross from the halfway line finding Philip Zinckernagel’s assist from Ben Osborn. His first effort was saved by Foderingham before Colback got back and finished from close range which sent the traveling Reds fans into a frenzy.
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Minutes later, the Blades almost responded when a corner from the right found John Egan’s header, but his deflection was cleared by Surridge to keep Forest in front.
Frustration began to grow around Bramall Lane, and came close to the second when some interplay found Zinckernagel on the ball at his feet before Surridge popped up, in hectares of space from 10 yards, but he could only direct it at Foderingham.
Reds boss Steve Cooper must have been wondering how his side just went down after Manchester United loanee James Garner picked out an unmarked Jerry Yates, who narrowly missed the post from eight yards.
The hosts had goalkeeper Foderingham to thank for not going into the break by more than a goal as he saved well from Surridge’s close-range effort before rising well to deny Johnson’s follow-up.
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The Blades responded to Paul Heckingbottom’s words on the break and forced a couple of chances when Morgan Gibbs-White touched Sander Berge, but he shot from inside the area and Gibbs-White was straight at Brice. Samba minutes later.
Although the visitors had few chances in the second half, they finally doubled their lead in the 71st minute to calm any nerves and make up for many missed chances before half-time.
Lolley’s first contribution after coming off the bench was to chip away at Egan from the last line of defense before teeing up Johnson who finished in the top right corner.
United pulled a goal back in stoppage time as Berge headed into an empty net after goalkeeper Samba found himself unmarked for the first time in the competition to set up an impressive City comeback. Ground on Tuesday.
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