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17th May 2022

Sheffield United manager sparks chaos in Forest clash after aggressive move on Djed Spence

Callum Boyle

Play-off tension at the City Ground

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom was shown a yellow card following an altercation with Nottingham Forest defender Djed Spence during the second leg of their play-off tie on Tuesday night.

Forest took an early lead on the night

Following their 2-1 win at Bramall Lane last weekend, Brennan Johnson gave the Reds extra breathing room with a first half strike to put Steve Cooper’s side 3-1 up on aggregate. The Blades later equalised through Morgan Gibbs-White.

With Forest in the ascendancy and the Blades in danger of fading away after a positive start, tensions threatened to boil over at the City Ground as the United boss lost his cool.

As he watched Forest full back Spence take his time over a throw-in before dropping the ball, Heckingbottom aggressively slammed the ball into the chest of Spence.

While the defender smirked at the incident, others were not so happy as goalscorer Johnson and a series of other Forest players confronted Heckingbottom, leading to everyone on the pitch getting involved.

The away side got themselves back into contention early into the second half

After cooling down people on both parties, experienced referee Michael Oliver showed the Blades boss a yellow card while Forest captain Joe Worrall and teammate Ryan Yeates spoke to Spence, presumably to prevent him from losing his cool.

Despite their lacklustre end to the first half, the away side came out the blocks early in the second half and found a goal back through Morgan Gibbs-White to make it 1-1 on the night.

John Fleck then put the Blades in front on the night and levelled the aggregate score with 15 minutes to play to take the game into extra-time.

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