Sheffield United 1-0 Nottingham Forest
Saturday, 4 August 2007
Before the match fans who attended got to see the first showing of two new signings; James Beattie (Everton) and David Carney (Sydney FC) were paraded on the pitch; the pair however didn't take part in this match.
A regular goal scorer against our East Midlands rivals whilst at Scunthorpe United - Billy Sharp opened the scoring after only nine minutes after a defensive blunder allowed the £2,000,000 signing to capitalize.
The ball was launched in the box and Reds defender Kelvin Wilson attempted to clear, knocking dangerously back to keeper Paul Smith who was forced into a dramatic save; Sharp was on hand to beat his marker and slot home at a tight angle!
Manager Bryan Robson and his Assistant Brian Kidd plan to bring in a new emphasis on passing football and this showed in 18th minute when slick passing movement between Lee Hendrie and Mikele Leigwertwood let in Nick Montgomery who fired his shot wide.
The visitors responded on 23rd minute when Brendan Maloney chased down the right and whipped a thundering cross which Chris Lucketti sent back before a minute later Chris Commons tested Paddy Kenny from distance.
Lee Hendrie finally eased his way into the game on 28 minutes and the former Aston Villa Midfielder slammed an effort from the edge of the box but was blocked by Malony, and on 36th minute Ahmed Fathi and Hendrie set up Jonathan Stead who fired wide when he should have done better.
The Blades put together there best move of the game a minute before half-time; Billy Sharp's neat footwork allowed him to beat two men on the left hand side and slid to Hendrie, the ball didn't fall right so he laid off Fathi whose driving shot was parried away by Smith.
At the break United made three changes, and carved out an opening when Hendrie and Michael Tonge combined in Midfield before the pair played the ball to Sharp on the left and Stead fired over the top after being set up.
With 15 minute remaining, good work by Geoff Horsfield allowed Alan Quinn into space and the former Sheffield Wednesday man fired wide of the mark.
Near the end Forest pulled off the best chance of the match; there efforts were few and far between but this time they were only denied by great defensive skills by Kenny.
The Reds launched in a corner, substitute Julian Bennett headed goal wards which Kenny somehow pared away before completing a double save when Wilson followed up.
|Armstrong (Naysmith 45)||Sub||Morgan (Brechin 73)|
|Tonge (Fathi 45)||Sub||Bastins (Perch 78)|
|Shelton (Montgomery 78)||Sub||Bennett (Dobie 76)|
|A. Quinn (Leigertwood 45)||Sub||Cohen (Clingan 73)|
|Law (Hendrie 66)||Sub||Sinclair (Maloney 73)|
|Webber (Sharp 66)||Sub||-|
|Horsfield (Stead 66)||Sub||-|