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Match Reports

Sheffield United 0-0 Forest

17 March 2018

Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United battled through wintery conditions to play out a goalless draw at Bramall Lane this afternoon.

It was a third clean sheet in a row for The Reds who had several chances to win the game in the second half but ultimately both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Aitor Karanka made two changes to the side which drew with Derby County last weekend, with Kieran Dowell and Daryl Murphy coming into the starting line-up in place of Joe Lolley and Lee Tomlin who dropped to the bench.

In blizzard-like conditions, The Blades started strongly and were denied by a fine stop by Costel Pantilimon in just the second minute as he got down well to push away Leon Clarke's powerful header.

The conditions made it difficult for both sides but The Reds began to settle and Matty Cash played a couple of teasing balls into the home side's box which came to nothing.

Clarke had an even better opportunity than his first chance and somehow managed to miss the target from around two-yards out on 13. A delivery from the left worked its way across the face of the Forest goal and, at the back post, Clarke managed to stoop down to head the ball back across goal and wide of the target.

Sheffield United were the side in the ascendency for the majority of the half, with Lee Evans curling an effort onto the roof of the net from the edge of the box on 37 minutes and Forest struggling to clear their lines at times.

But Cash had a good effort stopped by Jamal Blackman on 39 as The Reds looked threatening on the break. Ben Brereton broke forward and teed up the midfielder whose angled drive from the right was well stopped low down by Blackman.

The second half started brightly and there were chances for both sides inside the opening 15 minutes. George Baldock's cross from the right was well saved low down by Pantilimon, who took a whack for his troubles, before two good chances for The Reds.

Firstly, Cash drove down the right and played the ball across goal for Dowell who didn't get a great contact on the ball from 12 yards out, but forced Blackman to claw it away and just out of the path of the arriving Brereton. Then a minute later, the keeper did well to tip Murphy's flicked effort just wide when he was at full stretch.

Mark Duffy blazed over inside the penalty area on 59 minutes when he really should have done better as the home support began to get frustrated with their side.

The Reds always looked dangerous on the counter attack and should have done better on 68 as Murphy's shot crashed into the side netting. Ben Watson picked up the loose ball after Evans slipped and he allowed Brereton to lead the charge. The teenager set up Murphy whose first touch let him down but he still managed to get a shot in but wide of the target.

After good work between Cash and Tendayi Darikwa on the right wing, Brereton had a great chance to put The Reds in front on 80 minutes but his header was well saved by Blackman before Jack Colback fired the follow-up wide via a deflection.

Despite their late pressure, Forest couldn't find a way through and had to settle for their third consecutive draw as it ended goalless at Bramall Lane.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Figueiredo, Fox, Osborn, Watson (c), Colback, Cash (Vellios 90'), Brereton, Dowell (Lolley 62'), Murphy (Tomlin 74')

Unused subs: Kapino, Mancienne, Guedioura, Worrall

Bookings: Fox 44', Watson 77', Colback 87'

Sheffield United: Blackman, Leonard (Holmes 71'), Stearman, O'Connell, Baldock, Evans, Fleck, Stevens, Duffy (Donaldson 81'), Sharp (c) (Brooks 60'), Clarke

Unused subs: Moore, Lundstram, Wright, Lafferty

Booking: Fleck 90'

Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 28,095 (2,206 away)


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