Blades march on with win over Forest
Nigel Clough sees his side strike late for deny his former club, Steel City derby up next for United
Nigel Clough (centre), the Sheffield United manager, looks on from the touchline during the FA Cup fifth round match against Nottingham Forest at Bramall Lane. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Nigel Clough gained revenge over Nottingham Forest as his Sheffield United giant killers did it again to set up a potential FA Cup quarter-final Steel City derby.Chris Porter completed a dramatic turnaround with two late goals after Billy Davies appeared to be on course for a last eight place for the first time in his managerial career.
Instead it was his nemesis Clough who can enjoy victory over Forest at last after September’s defeat while Derby manager lost him his job at Pride Park. League One United, who had already beaten Aston Villa and Fulham, had looked second best in the first half with Jamie Paterson scoring in the 28th minute.
But they produced a performance of spirit and heart and went on to win the tie after Conor Coady had taken advantage of a Dorus De Vries error to equalise before Porter’s late double, and will now play Sheffield Wednesday at home in the quarter-finals if their rivals can beat Charlton.
This was Sheffield United’s biggest attendance of the season by around 6,000 and the atmosphere replicated that of the past between these two famous old clubs.Forest had plenty of possession and they were in control of the game in the first half after Paterson rounded off a superb move, heading in at the near post from Andy Reid’s cross from the left, for his eighth goal in 10 matches.
United could have equalised on 33 minutes when Stefan Scougall should have done better from Jose Baxter’s impressive break. The hosts had Mark Howard to keep them in the game as he made brilliant saves to push away shots from both Simon Cox and Paterson.
It proved to be crucial as Coady brought Bramall Lane to its feet with the equaliser and then both sides had chances in an entertaining finale. Reid’s 20-yard free kick was superbly saved by Howard and then Greg Halford and Forest’s sub Jamie Mackie also had half chances for the visitors. De Vries redeemed himself somewhat when he saved well from Ryan Flynn who had broken from his own half.
However United went on to win it as their former player Halford was adjudged to have handled in the area and the substitute Porter emphatically beat De Vries from the spot. Clough’s men sealed victory a minute later as Porter put in from another Murphy cross to bring more scenes of joy to the League One side, and a place in the quarter-finals