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17:00 16th February 2014

Blades 3-1 Forest - report

Blades 3-1 Forest - match report

The Blades are through to the last eight of the FA Cup with Budweiser.

Two late goals from Chris Porter secured the path for the lowest ranked team still in the competition.

Forest went ahead through Jamie Paterson but a second half equaliser from Conor Coady set the scene before substitute Porter stole the show.

Doyle returned to the starting line-up and reclaimed the captain's armband for the fixture. McGinn dropped to the bench to accommodate Doyle, which was the only change from the team that beat Shrewsbury. Forest's starting line-up included three former Blades - Henderson, Reid and Halford.

Prior to kick-off there was a measure of contrast. An impeccable minute's silence for Sir Tom Finney was followed by a rousing rendition of the Greasy Chip Buttie anthem.

There was very little to choose between the sides in the opening 20 minutes, United again proving a step up in quality is possible. Coady was forced to block from Majewski after Forest countered a Blades break and then Brayford fired weakly at de Vries with his unflavoured left foot.

A spell of play then centred around Baxter, who saw two efforts saved by de Vries, the first a long-ranger with power and the second after robbing Reid, who thought he was fouled. In addition, Lascelles was booked for a crude challenge on the Blades striker.

Halford cut in from the right and curled a half volley over before Forest took the lead on 28 minutes - the first time the Blades have been behind in the competition this year. Reid's near post cross saw PATERSON's deft header loop over Howard's head and into the corner of the net.

The Blades hit back positively. Collins headed a Baxter free-kick wide and following a break, in which Halford fouled Murphy, Baxter played in Scougall, whose shot was saved by de Vries, low down to his left.

Late on in the first half the chances dried up but again the Blades matched the visitors and with Flynn, Scougall and Murphy all running at the Forest back four there was still room for optimism, especially kicking towards the Kop in the second half.

Harris was booked for a foul on Cox early in the second half but the Blades began positively and put Forest on the back foot. Murphy almost got on the end of a Brayford cross and then two corners caused problems. From the first a Maguire shot was blocked by Jara and then a volley from Scougall was on target but straight at de Vries.

Howard was forced to bat away efforts from Paterson and Cox in the space of two minutes but the Blades were soon back on the attack. From a Scougall run, Murphy saw his shot blocked but the leveller arrived on 66 minutes. Brayford's cross from the right looked comfortable for de Vries but he spilled the ball and after confusion with Lascelles, COADY picked up the loose ball and placed neatly into the unguarded goal.

Maguire was booked for a foul on Reid and the subsequent free-kick from the Forest skipper was tipped over the crossbar by Howard. Collins was the next to be shown a yellow card, for a foul on Mackie, and the resulting set-piece saw Halford head over Reid's delivery.

With the tension in all stands clear in the final ten minutes, a long-range effort from Reid was just wide and at the other end a Scougall run presented a chance for Flynn, but his shot was pushed away by de Vries.

Porter replaced Baxter late on but the drama was just about to start. Murphy went outside Halford and the former Blades loanee slid and handled the cross, referee Oliver immediately pointing to the penalty spot. PORTER had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes but took responsibility and sent de Vries the wrong way.

And that's not all. Deep into the six added minutes, Murphy again went around his marker and this time played across the goal where PORTER added the necessary touch.

Halford went up front for Forest but the game was over and the Blades went through to the last eight and a potential Steel City derby.

Blades: Howard, Harris (Hill 90), Brayford, Maguire, Flynn, Doyle, Baxter (Porter 86), N. Collins, Coady (McGinn 90), Scougall, Murphy.
Unused: Hill, Miller, Long, Kennedy, De Girolamo.

Forest: de Vries, D. Collins, Henderson (Djebbour 70), Reid, Fox, Halford, Lascelles, Jara, Paterson, Majewski (Abdoun 78), Cox (Mackie 67).
Unused: Darlow, Harding, Greening, Derbyshire.