Hull City 1 – 1 N Bos

Fourth-seeded Nottingham Forest will face Sheffield United in the Sky Bet Championship play-offs after being held to a dramatic 1-1 draw in Hull.

With the game going nowhere, Forest substitute Brennan Johnson commuted an injury time penalty after Tom Huddlestone fouled Sam Surridge.

But with Forest’s fans in party mode, Hull equalized just two minutes later via Keane Lewis-Potter, who impressively netted a cross from Lewie Coyle from the right-hand side.

A draw was a fair result as the visitors, who – after seven substitutions in the loss to Bournemouth earlier in the week – had a lack of entrepreneurial spirit against Hull and nothing to play for.

But as manager Steve Cooper is understandably keen to protect his big players from injuries and suspensions, this result should not be taken for granted.

Jacob Greaves and Alex Mighten compete for the ball

Forest would have been a much bigger threat to Hull had they put together their best starting squad, but this was an end-of-season encounter, until the game came alive during stoppage time.

Hull, embarrassed by their 5-0 defeat to Bristol City last weekend, at least tried to make it a game early on.

But they were largely kept at bay by a team from Forest who were clearly preparing – mentally and physically – for a crucial few weeks in the club’s recent history.

Hull were marginally better than their rivals in the first half, with Allahyar Sayyadmanesh a constant threat up front.

Sayyadmanesh indeed had the best chance before half-time when he cashed in on a defensive mix-up between Brice Samba and Tobias Figueiredo in the 26th minute.

The Iran international was not well placed to make a clean connection in a good position and poked the ball wide for a goal kick.

Man-of-the-match Sayyadmanesh also had bad luck in the 58th minute as he came within striking distance of a stud to hit Callum Elder’s dangerous cross from the left.

Cooper may have hoped for a positive response from that near miss, but his players’ collective mindset was to remain diligent rather than dynamic.

That was until their manager called in Johnson and Surridge just after the hour.

Forest was immeasurably better after that – especially in the 75th minute when Hull goalkeeper Nathan Baxter did well to parry Johnson’s clumsy, low cross from the right.

Surridge was well positioned to convert the rebound, but Baxter stayed big and strong to avert the danger.

Forest’s eager supporters may have expected their side to blow.

But Hull posed a lingering threat at half-time and perhaps should have done better when Lewis-Potter was unable to accurately control Sayyadmanesh’s strong cross just outside the penalty box.

Substitute Tom Eaves should have done better too with an idiosyncratic header on Lewis-Potter’s loftedink towards the back post after 82 minutes.

Contrary to the regular time game, the game ended on a flourish, with Brennan scoring from the spot before Lewis-Potter equalized in the dying embers.

Semi-final first legs

Friday May 13, 7:45 PM – Luton vs Huddersfield

Saturday May 14, 3pm – Sheff Utd vs N Forest

Semi-final second stage

Monday May 16, 7:45 PM – Huddersfield vs Luton

Tuesday May 17, 7:45 PM – N Forest vs Sheff Utd

Play-off final

Sunday, May 29, 2022

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