Earnshaw milestone blunts Blades: Match Review

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The 150th league goal of Robert Earnshaw's career was enough to get Billy Davies' promotion hopefuls back on track as Nottingham Forest overcame successive defeats with a deserved win over 10-man Sheffield United.

Darius Henderson's contentious dismissal 40 seconds into the second half compounded the misery for Kevin Blackwell's ill-disciplined side, who have seen their play-off ambitions weaken with just one win in six.

However, for nearly 22,000 Forest fans, it was a welcome return to the City Ground, as the hosts forgot their away-day blues to secure an eighth home win on the bounce which keeps the pressure on West Brom and Newcastle at the top of the Coca-Cola Championship.

And for Davies, the game could not have got off to a better start as the outspoken boss was rewarded for a switch in selection early on as the recalled Paul Anderson and Earnshaw combined to open the scoring after just three minutes.

On-loan midfielder Radoslaw Majewski whipped in a vicious corner from the left side, which Anderson reached first to flick on for Earnshaw to poke home the loose ball from inside the six-yard box for his 11th goal of the season and his 150th league goal of his career.

The early setback seemed to knock the Blades into a state of uncertainty from which they never really recovered.

Forest themselves were hardly expansive or indeed impressive in their attacks, but against a poor United team they threatened at will.

Chris Cohen and the lively Majewski both had efforts at goal before the hosts came close to doubling their lead with a break down the right midway through the opening period.

Chris Gunter made a break from full-back to get to the byline. From there, he cut the ball back for Cohen who moved it on to Anderson, but the winger failed to hit the target, firing his shot just over the bar when he really should have tested Mark Bunn in United's goal.

If Blackwell was hoping for a change in fortunes for his side after the break, he was to be sorely disappointed as Henderson rendered the comeback mission impossible as he appeared to petulantly elbow Forest's Kevin Wilson off the ball less than a minute into the action.

From then on, United threatened to self-combust as Mark Yeates and Lee Williamson were both booked by Nigel Miller for needless challenges.

However, the 10-men gave their hosts a couple of warnings as Yeates twice came close to equalising but missed the target on both occasions.

Otherwise, Forest dominated the increasingly heated contest and were unlucky not to double their lead on several occasions.

First Earnshaw should have done better when clean through, while Anderson and Blackstock were guilty of wasting good opportunities.

With 15 minutes to go, Tyson then had a fierce effort well saved by Bunn, before Gunter fired over as the game petered out into a well-earned home win.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Paul Anderson
West Bromwich Albion
Darius Henderson
Mark Yeates
Robert Earnshaw
Lee Williamson
Nottingham Forest
Chris Gunter
Radoslaw Majewski
Sheffield United
Chris Cohen
Mark Bunn

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