Nottingham Forest 1 Sheffield United 1: Rare draw for Speed as stubborn Blades hang on

NOTTINGHAM Forest failed to make the most of a dominant second-half display as Sheffield United claimed a battling point at the City Ground.

Richard Cresswell's sixth-minute header put the Blades in front in an open first half that saw several chances go begging.

Paul McKenna drew Forest level after the break when his long-range effort proved too hot for United goalkeeper Steve Simonsen to handle and trickled over the goalline.

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Manager Billy Davies will surely be frustrated by yet another draw – his side's sixth from nine league matches this term, while this was the first draw of Gary Speed's reign.

Dexter Blackstock forced an early save from Simonsen at his near post. But it was the visitors who took the lead soon after as an unmarked Cresswell converted Stephen Jordan's inswinging free-kick from the right with a powerful header.

The Blades then spurned a glorious opportunity to double their lead as Daniel Bogdanovic fired directly at Lee Camp. Camp then kept out a sweetly-struck volley from Jordan which flew through a crowd of players.

Camp pulled off a fine fingertip save to keep out a curling effort from Yeates as half-time approached, while the lively Lewis McGugan brought a more routine save from Simonsen.

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There were fewer clear-cut chances after the interval as United became more content look for opportunities on the counter. Simonsen almost handed Forest a second goal in the 79th minute when he dropped a cross at the feet of McGugan, but the midfielder's shot was blocked.

Nottm Forest: Camp, Gunter, Chambers, Morgan, Bertrand, Anderson (Tyson 71), McGugan (McCleary 83), McKenna, Moussi (Adebola 61), Cohen, Blackstock. Unused substitutes: Wilson, McGoldrick, Majewski, Darlow.

Sheff Utd: Simonsen, De Laet (Calve 88), Bartley (Lowton 82), Nosworthy, Jordan, Britton, Montgomery, Ertl, Yeates, Bogdanovic (Evans 67), Cresswell. Unused substitutes: Taylor, Quinn, Wright, Slew.

Referee: M Russell (Hertfordshire).