Sheffield United’s Paul Heckingbottom demands action after Billy Sharp assaulted in play-off semi-final Yorkshire News

A fan ran onto the pitch after Nottingham Forest had won a thrilling equalizer on penalties and ran towards Sharp, standing on the touchline with his back turned and headbutting him. Sharp needed stitches in the locker room afterwards.

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Nottingham Forest 1 Sheffield United 2: Blades out of play-offs after penalty…

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This followed unpleasant incidents when Huddersfield Town fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate their own team reaching the final the night before.

PRIDE AND WRATH: Paul Heckingbottom (left) and assistant Stuart McCall

“We watch every game on TV and there are always things thrown on the pitch, invasions of fans and the commentators, especially the former players, always talk about the safety of the players, but nothing has ever been done,” Heckingbottom said.

“Bill was minding his own business off the court, trying to alienate our players. He was caught off guard, he was cowardly.”

“He was thrown to the ground (and needed) stitches, he was shaken.

“How can our safety be compromised like that in our workplace?

“It’s a prison sentence waiting to happen. Something will be done about it.”

Until then, Heckingbottom said he had been full of admiration for the way his side, trailing after the first leg, recovered from conceding the first goal in the second to secure a penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw. -3. Forest won it, with Brice Samba saving three penalties.

“That (about Sharp) is anger, but the prevailing feeling is pride,” the Blades manager said. “While I’m talking, it’s like I realize we’re out.

“I didn’t think we would be out, I thought we would go all the way.

“Right now I’m proud of the players, it was a great performance once again, one to 11 and the guys that came in, just like it’s been all season.

“We have achieved all the results together and we have achieved this defeat together.

“Honestly, I thought we would win it, even at the break. They scored again with their first attack, which was really disappointing, but that’s what they’re good at. But we got to a tough place and dominated the game, but we’ve not passed. so it’s irrelevant.”

Samba made two great saves during the 120 minutes, most notably a brilliant save to deny Iliman Ndiaye after 118 minutes.

“You need big moments and Samba made that save to keep them level, then he saved the penalties,” Heckingbottom said. “It’s the moments that hurt, they’re fine margins.”

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This notice was published: 2022-05-17 22:53:17

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