Heckingbottom was frustrated after his side were denied a penalty in the first half when James Garner dragged down Sander Berge after a freekick was delivered into the box.
Forest ran out 2-1 winners in the game after a convincing display against their playoff rivals. The Reds were 2-0 up before a late Sander Berge header got a goal back for the Blades.
But that didn’t stop Heckingbottom fuming at the referee and Forest for that matter with his side being denied a penalty just before Forst broke forward to score their first.
Speaking to the Daily Mail after the game, Heckingbottom said: “They must see that [the officials].
“Forest have only given one penalty away from dragging players down in the box, yet they do it every game.”
Despite this claim, Heckingbottom also admitted that his side had to be better: “We had to be better second half, which we were but we couldn’t break them down.
“They defended the box very well but one goal then would change the tie, it didn’t happen so we have to take the one we got at the end.”
The second leg will take place at the City Ground on Tuesday at 7:45pm.
It was a frantic game, something that didn’t suit the Blades as they looked to break down a stubborn defence.
Forest looked a threat every time they broke forward, Sheffield United looked a threat at every set piece.
That being said, they were unlucky not to get a penalty, with the foul comitted by Garner going unseen by the officials. It’s made worse by Forest breaking at the other end shortly after, but the ploy from Heckingbottom is a smart one.
By mentioning it in his post match press conference, officials may well be looking out for it in the return leg and with Sheffield United being a threat from set pieces, it could happen again, so this could yet play into their hands on Tuesday night.