'It was pandemonium' - Former Sheffield United star recalls an incredible Bramall Lane night

On this day in 2003, a remarkable 17 years ago, Bramall Lane witnessed one of the most incredible games in its long history when Sheffield United took on Nottingham Forest in the second leg of the Division One play-off semi-final.

Friday, 15th May 2020, 1:13 pm

The game was finely poised after a 1-1 draw in the first game at the City Ground, but Forest had one foot in the final when they roared into a 2-0 lead on the night, with just half an hour left on the clock.

Two goals in eight minutes saw United take the game to extra-time, where they scored twice more and survived a late Forest rally to win 4-3 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate.

Heartbreak was to follow in the final at the Millennium Stadium, with a 3-0 defeat to Wolves, but the Forest game is fondly remembered by everyone of a red and white persuasion who witnessed it... including United's then-goalkeeper, Paddy Kenny.

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"We fancied our chances against anyone at the Lane," Kenny told The Star, "but things weren't exactly going to plan when we found ourselves 2-0 down.

"But Brownie [Michael Brown] got us back in it and we could feel the momentum change. Forest knew about our reputation for fighting back and Steve Kabba levelled for us to take it to extra-time.

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"Then Paul Peschisolido had his 'Oh my Gaaad' moment, in his Canadian accent. He didn't know what to do when he put us ahead so just sprinted around like a mad man while the lads tried to catch him. He'd only been on the pitch seven minutes!"

Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock (centre) leads the celebrations at the final whistle during the Nationwide League Division One play-off semi-final second leg match between Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest held on May 15, 2003 at Bramall Lane. Sheffield United won the match 4-3 after extra-time, winning the tie 5-4 on aggregate. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Des Walker's own goal made it 4-2 to United and Kenny celebrated deliriously with defender Phil Jagielka, before being told off by skipper Rob Page. "He came over and told us we hadn't won it yet. Me and Jags were laughing at him like a couple of kids, and then Pagey scored an own goal to make it 4-3!

"After the whistle it was pandemonium and we ended up in the bath in the dressing room, with bottles of beer everywhere and some champagne from somewhere. We were looking at each other in disbelief. 'Did that really just happen?' No-one was sure."

More from our United team

Sheffield United players celebrates winning the Nationwide First Division Play off second leg match against Nottingham Forest on May 15, 2003 at Bramell Lane. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Paul Peschislido celebrates scoring during the Nationwide First Division Play off second leg match between Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest on May 15, 2003 at Bramell Lane. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Paul Peschislido celebrates scoring during the Nationwide First Division Play off second leg match between Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest on May 15, 2003 at Bramell Lane . (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)