Another good win
I was thinking we might slip up as my pre-match superstitious things were going wrong haha. First off I couldn`t get in my usual parking spot as I got held up by bad traffic coming into Sheffield all the way from Intake down to Gleedless Valley. I did manage to get my backside on my seat on the Kop in good time for kick off though.
We started very well from the off yesterday, good attacking play and had Reading on the back foot from the start. We had a few chances and could have won more that with the 2-1 score line. The starting eleven was more or less intact with the exception of Baldock who slotted in at the back for the injured Freeman. He did really well yesterday and performed well in my view. Coutts was back in the side after sitting out a game to clear his suspension, he got a good welcome back to the side and took his opening goal really well. We usually sit back and try and walk the ball into the net on most occasions but Clarke`s back pass to Coutts and the resulting strike from just outside the area was brilliant. It was good to see him grab a goal with a "long range" strike.
Sharp made it two just before the break with a good tap in after a decent cross across the six yard area. I`m hoping he has a few more goals by the end of the season as I`ve got a quid on him to be top Championship scorer this season!
I can`t fault the team`s performance apart from the last fifteen minutes, we sat back at 2-0 up and having seen Reading be consistently poor throughout the game they grabbed a goal back. They changed their formation to tackle our midfield mastery and it was paying dividends for them late on with a lot of pressure heading the Kops way. It was a bit of a nail biting finish for us to be honest, and where referee David Coote got the added five minutes from I`ve no idea.
He was not a very good official yesterday, very fussy referee. He wasn`t shy of blowing his whistle for free kicks every two minutes, and some of his decisions were questionable. Most of the people on the Kop around where I was sat, including me were astonished how Sharp got held in a headlock in the second half and ended up with a drop-ball decision, yet when Brooks nearly scored towards the end and lofted the ball over the keeper after the whistle has gone - he got a yellow card. I think refs must draw straws on a Saturday morning and we get the short straw most weekends.
Hats off to the Reading fans though, they, like Ipswich the other week, were well behaved and showed up with a decent following. I heard their club had financed the away travel as well which is a pretty decent thing to do and shows that some clubs look after their following, unlike other`s that charge £49 for a home shirt (reduced from £59 due to late delivery (Wendys)), must be to stump up cash for non-scoring Rhodes!
I was surprised that the attendance was 26,265 yesterday, it looked a lot more as the Bramall Lane upper had more than usual and looked pretty full, as did the other sides of the ground. It`s good to get upper twenty thousand crowds at the Lane, gives us the voice to get behind the lads on the pitch and be the twelfth man!
Anyway, Leeds next Friday and it`s on Sky TV as well. They`ve only won one match out of their last four games though, and with their Cup match against Leicester this Tuesday coming I`m hoping they are worn out for the game on Friday and we can get a good result at Elland Road.
Anyway, this season is amazing and we`re doing excellent so far, let`s keep being behind the lads and and keep the party going!
Olly Longden (RFA)
Sheffield United MOD/Armed Forces Supporter`s Branch