Nottm Forest 1 Leeds United 1: Sharp proves spot on as fortune favours Leeds

NEVER mind Strictly for Saturday night viewing, it was more the Ex-Factor at the City Ground.

Leeds United's Billy Sharp is congratulated after equalising from the penalty spot against Nottingham Forest (Picture: Simon Hulme).

The one basking in the limelight was Billy Sharp, who netted against one of his former clubs, although he did have to share star billing with team-mates Lewis Cook and Marco Silvestri.

Some choice contributions from the officials also drew top marks from Leeds supporters, entitled to reflect on things going their way on the road for once.

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Sharp was on hand to cancel out Matty Fryatt’s opener just before the break, with the striker, making his first start since September 16, assuming penalty-taking duties after Danny Fox brought down Sam Byram in the 54th minute.

Sharp, who spent the 2012-13 season on loan at Forest, blasted the ball past Karl Darlow, and there was more drama to come.

It arrived just after the hour mark when Fryatt, after having a 21st-minute ‘goal’ ruled out for offside when replays showed he was played onside by Byram, was again forced to rue his misfortune after having another legitimate effort chalked off.

This was the cue to a cascade of boos from angry Forest supporters following a video replay of the ‘goal’ along with a chorus of “You don’t know what you’re doing” to the officials.

Not that Sharp or Leeds were complaining and while they rode their luck at times, their application and overall resilience deserved a point with Cook further enhancing his reputation with a masterful display and Silvestri making some key saves.

On the two disallowed ‘goals’, Sharp, who struck for just the second time for United, said: “The linesman got the first one right. I think that one was offside, but obviously we have seen on the big screens that he got the second one wrong. But it evens itself out through the season.

“There was a penalty in the game at Blackburn which wasn’t a penalty and decisions even themselves out over the season and I am glad that one went in our favour.

“It was important we did get something out of the game as our away performances aren’t good enough at the minute. I think everyone would have taken a point before the game at Nottingham Forest. Hopefully, the fans are happy with the character we showed in getting a point at the end.”

On claiming the penalty, Sharp added: “I was selfish but I am a striker and I want to score goals and get the team back in the game. Mirco (Antenucci) wanted the penalty as well, which was good. It is good to have people who want the penalty.”

Nottingham Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Wilson, Fox; Hunt (Burke 70), Lansbury, Mancienne (Paterson 89), Tesche, Antonio; Blackstock (Assombalonga 41), Fryatt. Unused substitutes: Lascelles, De Vries, Ince, Osborn.

Leeds United: Silvestri, Byram, Pearce, Cooper, Warnock; Bianchi, Cook, Mowatt; Antenucci (Doukara 84), Adryan (Morison 66), Sharp (Tonge 77). Unused substitutes: S Taylor, Berardi, Del Fabro, Montenegro.

Referee: R East (Wiltshire).

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.