Super sub Wood heads in late winner for Forest against Sheff Utd

18 Aug 2023
Wood, Cooper

Steve Cooper's side claim first win of the season after Hamer strike cancels out Awoniyi's opener

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Substitute Chris Wood headed in an 89th-minute winner as Nottingham Forest edged past a battling Sheffield United at the City Ground to claim their first win of the season.


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Both teams had lost on the opening day of 2023/24 and wanted to get their season up and running - and it took only 2mins 23secs for Taiwo Awoniyi to put Forest 1-0 ahead with a powerful header from Serge Aurier's cross.

Awoniyi became the first Forest player to net in six consecutive Premier League matches since Stan Collymore achieved this feat in March-April 1995.

Awoniyi's scoring run is now the longest by a Nigerian player in the competition, and is surpassed by only two African players - Mohamed Salah and Emmanuel Adebayor (seven each).

Forest dominated the opening half but it was Sheff Utd who drew level within three minutes of the restart.

The Blades' goal came earlier in the second half than Forest's did in the first. There were only 2mins 8secs on the clock when debutant Gustavo Hamer curled a brilliant strike beyond goalkeeper Matt Turner after a corner had only been half-cleared.

Paul Heckingbottom's Blades had a great chance to take the lead when Benie Traore capitalised on a defensive mix-up, but his one-on-one opportunity was expertly saved by Turner.

That sparked Forest into a flurry of late attacking action and Wood, on for Awoniyi, claimed all three points. The New Zealander's glancing header from Aurier's cross ended Awoniyi's run of scoring Forest's last six Premier League goals.

It was only the second time in his career that Aurier has provided two assists in a single match in Europe’s big-five leagues  – the previous instance was for Tottenham Hotspur in May 2021, also against Sheff Utd.

See: Cooper: It's good to get off the mark

Coming up on Saturday

AFC Bournemouth travel to Liverpool while Wolverhampton Wanderers face a Brighton & Hove Albion side that got 2023/24 off to a flying start with a 4-1 win over Luton Town last weekend.

Derby honours are at stake when west London rivals Fulham host Brentford.

Tottenham Hotspur take on Manchester United and will be hoping to mark Ange Postecoglou's first home Premier League match as Spurs head coach with their first top-flight win against the Red Devils in six attempts.

The final match of the day is a mouthwatering encounter between champions Manchester City and Newcastle United. The two teams scored eight goals between them in their 3-0 and 5-1 opening weekend wins over Burnley and Aston Villa respectively.

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