|Games against Sheffield United are always niggly affairs and this evening's game was no exception as both sides had a player sent off and the two managers, Joe Kinnear and the ever popular 'prat of the century' Neil Warnock got locked into a battle of words after the game ended 1 - 1.
It says much of the morons that run the FA these days that Joe Kinnear will face disrepute charges for calling Warnock a prat, while Warnock will not face charges for haranguing the referee throughout the second half as he attempted to get every Forest player who dared to put in a challenge either booked or sent off. It was disgraceful behaviour which, if performed by a player on the pitch, would have received a yellow card.
Despite the battle between the two managers though, there was a football game this evening, and in parts it was an entertaining game.
The Blades had the better of the first half as you would expect for the home side, though Forest did have their moments as well.
The Reds' best chance to take the lead came in the 12th minute when David Johnson's blistering shot was blocked by Nick Montgomery who threw himself into the path of the ball.
United took the lead in the 26th minutes after an incisive break infield by Danny Cadamarteri was brought to an abrupt end by a late Andy Impey tackle 25 yards from goal. Impey was booked for the challenge and Andy Liddell took full advantage as he smashed home the resulting free kick.
In the 32nd minute it looked as if Forest might pull back the equalizer as the Blades failed to clear a Forest set-piece and the ball pinged around the area. Marlon King, standing just inside the box, lashed a sweet volley goalwards, only to see it hit the post.
Just before the break things started to get really nasty when a late challenge on Alan Quinn by Michael Dawson - on as a sub for Jon Olav Hjelde, who had injured himself in the warm-up - got the defender a yellow card. Warnock was incensed when the referee then showed a red card to Quinn for retaliation, which means Warnock was the only man in the ground not to see Quinn retaliate or he is totally stupid - I know which one I'm backing.
The arguments were still going on as the referee ended the first half, and they were to continue for the rest of the game.
Kinnear brought Kris Commons on at the break to replace Gregor Robertson and give the team a more attacking formation as they looked to get a result against 10-man United.
Yet despite the more attacking formation, Forest looked uneasy going forward and the Blades looked confident as they constantly attacked.
The second half did have an unsavoury tone to it as Warnock behaved despicably throughout, continually yelling for the referee to book Forest players, but his main target seemed to be Paul Evans, who had been booked in the first half and would have been sent off if Warnock got his way.
Had a player behaved the way Warnock did I'm sure the referee would not have hesitated in booking him, and I strongly suggest the FA get reports or video evidence of Warnock's behaviour before they make a decision on Kinnear's disrepute charge, after all Joe was only stating what was blindingly obvious to everyone in the ground, Warnock IS a prat.
Forest, it has to be said, did not do enough to wrap this game up in the second half. They should have put 10-man Blades under constant pressure, but they didn't. However, Forest did not deserve to lose this game and they got the deserved leveller with five minutes to go when Paddy Kenny palmed away a Marlon King shot. The ball dropped to the feet of David Johnson who made no mistake as he slotted home his second goal of the season.
Forest should have had a penalty in the dying seconds of the game when Kris Commons was clearly brought down in the penalty area. A real ruckus ensued which saw Andy Impey given his marching orders for a second yellow card - I assume for dissent.
The United players, Kenny in particular screamed like little school kids as they insisted Commons had dived. The United fans were also baying for the ref's blood, I wouldn't have fancied his chances if he had awarded the penalty, so like all good cowards he bottled it, and while he was receiving treatment for a gashed ankle picked up in the challenge that brought him down, Commons was booked for diving.
The ref must have felt a huge sense of relief when Commons could not continue and had to leave the field of play to receive six stitches in the ankle wound. I bet his parents are proud of their brave little soldier who knows how to make brilliant decisions in the heat of battle, oh yes, and I bet the FA are really impressed with him as well. No, seriously, I bet they are, as they don't have a bloody clue.
Unsurprisingly the war of words continued after the referee's whistle ended the game, and judging by comments made by both managers, it will go on for a few days yet.