Slides Sports News


Levi Colwill’s own goal sent Nottingham Forest into the Premier League for the first time in 23 years in a 1-0 Championship play-off final win over Huddersfield at Wembley.

Luckless centre-back Colwill put through his own net after James Garner’s teasing cross, that Jack Colback ducked under, and Ryan Yates failed to reach.

Chelsea’s 19-year-old loanee Colwill has impressed hugely at Huddersfield and will have the chance to battle for a first-team spot at Stamford Bridge later this summer.

But the talented teenage defender ended a fine season in most miserable fashion, handing Forest a return to the big time that the City Ground men have craved for so long.

Forest were bottom of the table and winless when Steve Cooper took charge in September – now they have won football’s most lucrative match and are headed to the top tier.

Financial experts rate the Championship play-off final as worth at least £170 million to the winners, and Forest will now enjoy a major cash injection to go along with the glory of a long-awaited return to the top.

Forest players like defender Djed Spence were not even born the last time the east midlanders tasted Premier League action back in 1999.

But a season that started in turmoil when Chris Hughton was sacked after seven winless matches and just one point in September, now Forest have pulled off a remarkable turnaround.

Former Swansea boss Cooper’s transformation of this Forest squad might not have been completed in the most enticing of fashion.

But the hordes of Forest fans crammed into Wembley will not care one jot.

Carlos Corberan’s Huddersfield can count themselves hugely unlucky on an afternoon where they simply failed to fire.

But two flimsy penalty shouts aside, Corberan’s men were ultimately toppled by the better-organised side, albeit amid slender margins.

Forest always had the better of a scrappy encounter, with Yates wasting a fine chance when heading wide from Garner’s teasing free-kick.

The midfielder blazed high and handsome from 18 yards in another half chance for the City Ground men.

Just when both sides looked happy to turn around in stalemate though, Forest forced the breakthrough.

Another testing ball from the ever-influential Garner was first ducked by Colback then missed by Yates – and the two close shaves left Colwill as the fall guy.

The young Chelsea prospect was forced into connecting with the ball, and could only divert into his own net.

Forest flagged after the break, with Jonathan Hogg heading over from a corner as Huddersfield pressed hard in search of a leveller.

Harry Toffolo thought he had earned the chance for his side to hit level terms when ending in a heap in the box after stepping past Colback.

Referee Jon Moss first booked Toffolo for diving, then a VAR check ruled out any chance of a penalty.

Huddersfield were left incensed by the call, but also still trailing their east midlands foes.

Another penalty shout was even more quickly dismissed when Max Lowe tangled with Lewis O’Brien, with Huddersfield again denied a spot-kick.

Huddersfield continued to press right until the death, but Forest clung on, to spark scenes as delirious on the pitch as in the stands.

football Slides Sports News


Nottingham Forest ran riot to dump holders Leicester out of the FA Cup.

The Reds demolished last season’s winners 4-1 at the City Ground after three goals in nine first-half minutes.

Philip Zinckernagel and Brennan Johnson scored twice in barely a minute before Joe Worrall made it 3-0.

Kelechi Iheanacho pounced on Brice Samba’s mistake but Djed Spence added a fourth in the second half to wrap up a dominant win.

Under Steve Cooper Forest have lost just four of 23 games, winning 13, but against their East Midlands rivals this will be the most satisfying.

A swashbuckling, intense and stylish display continued their upward trajectory with the former Swansea boss, who has taken them from relegation candidates to promotion hopefuls in just five months.

They can add FA Cup specialists to that list now too having already dumped out Arsenal. A home fifth-round tie with Huddersfield will have the locals dreaming of a first quarter-final since 1996.

The City Ground is now a place of hope, rather than one relying on its history, while Leicester’s season continues to unravel.

In the space of 11 games the Foxes have gone out of the Europa League, the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and seen the gap to the top six grow from two points to 10.

Success in the Europa Conference League appears to be their best hope of European football next term but Brendan Rodgers has growing problems.

Not least in defence, which folded again after Leicester appeared to have settled at the City Ground.

Iheanacho and Ademola Lookman threatened early yet it was a false dawn as Forest blew them away in a devastating nine-minute spell.

Keinan Davis had already crashed a volley off the bar before Forest snatched two goals in just 87 seconds.

It was Johnson who was crucial to underline his importance to the hosts, who resisted January interest from Brentford.

First, after 23 minutes, his deep cross found Davis to nod down for the unmarked Zinckernagel to steal in between Daniel Amartey and Wilfred Ndidi and fire past Danny Ward.

Leicester then collapsed seconds later when, from the restart, Amartey’s awful back-pass found Johnson and he stroked through Ward’s legs to make it 2-0.

The holders had been obliterated and worse was to follow when they fell further behind after 32 minutes.

Ryan Yates had already missed a fine headed chance before Ward turned Zinckernagel’s shot wide and from Garner’s resulting corner Worrall’s diving header crept in.

But as the hosts celebrated a fan entered the field from the away section before starting to throw punches at the Forest players before being hauled away.

Forest swarmed over Leicester and Spence was denied by Ward, yet the hosts gifted the Foxes a lifeline they barely deserved five minutes before the break.

James Maddison’s cute pass found Iheanacho on the left with Samba inexplicably rushing out of his goal. The striker pushed the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs and finished well from an angle to give the visitors hope.

It completed a breathless half and the next goal was crucial. Patson Daka replaced Barnes at the break and he teed up Maddison to curl just wide eight minutes after the restart before firing over himself.

There was to be no heroic comeback, though, and Spence added a fourth just after the hour when he swapped passes with Zinckernagel to find the bottom corner.