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"Why aren't you playing? That's why!"

Sheffield United
1 - 2
Port Vale

Bramall Lane


Attendance: 7,627


Kevin Blackwell blasted his fringe players after A Marc Richards double was enough to give Port Vale a Carling Cup First Round upset, with the help of Blades 'keeper Ian Bennett.

Richards free-kick with half an hour remaining was seemingly comfortable for Bennett, but the ex Birmingham stopper allowed the ball to just slip through his fingers, to put Vale back into the lead.

Despite criticising many of his players, Kevin Blackwell did show some sympathy to the goalkeeper: "What can I say about it? That sort of thing happens to all goalkeepers at some time in their career and I know Ian is too experienced and competent to allow that to knock his confidence.

"We let him down really because we had enough chances to have helped him out by winning anyway. But people won't remember the chances we missed, just the goalie's mistake."

Unfortunately, the second half, when the Blades were behind, followed a very similar pattern to last year; direct play, chances, but no quality to finish them off.

Henderson was unable to convert from close range, and saw his effort cleared off the line; Howard, Robertson and Treacy were also prevented by the agility of Martin.

The Blades had been on top in the early exchanges, but it was Micky Adams' side who went in front twenty minutes in. Taylor's good work on the left was cut back by Loft, and Richards was there to stroke home to put the visitors in front.

It appeared early on that the Blades would have a challenge on their hands, with goalkeeper Chris Martin in fine form. First saving from Sharp, and then deflecting Reid's deflected cross over the bar.

The Blades did finally beat Martin with just over ten minutes of the first half remaining. Little and Quinn exchanging passes out wide, before the ball fell to Sharp, who turned in the box and fired high into the Vale goal.

There was just one last scare in the second half for the Blades, Ian Bennett dropping a cross, but it was eventually cleared by the Blades defence.

Star Player

Glen Little showed a lot of potential, especially early on, and he played a significant part in the goal, but overall, it's impossible to look past the Port Vale goalkeeper Chris Martin. The Blades had 11 shots on target, and were successful with just 1.

Player Ratings

Ian Bennett

Chances of playing Saturday: 1/10

Bunn and his "sticky" hands will be back in.

Ryan France

Chances of playing Saturday: 5/10

Walker back in the team, France will face competition from Cotterill and Little

Leigh Bromby

Chances of playing Saturday: 3/10

Nothing particularly wrong with Bromby, but Morgan will be back in the side.

Matt Kilgallon (c)

Chances of playing Saturday: 10/10

Captain for the night, and providing an injury isn't picked up, he'll be first on the team sheet.

Andy Taylor

Chances of playing Saturday: 9/10

Not only is there little competition at left back, but Taylor has put two satisfactory displays in so far.

Glen Little

Chances of playing Saturday: 5/10

If performance is to go by, then Little would be given a start against the Hornets, but can the veteran play two games in a week?

Brian Howard

Chances of playing Saturday: 7/10

With another under par display from Stephen Quinn, Blackwell could be tempted to partner Howard alongside Montgomery.

Stephen Quinn

Chances of playing Saturday: 6/10

The manager appears reluctant to break up the Montgomery/Quinn partnership in the league, but surely Quinn cannot be expected to keep his place in this sort of form.

Kyel Reid

Chances of playing Saturday: 4/10

Reid looked lively, and certainly has pace, but Treacy appears closer to the finished article and will probably keep his place.

Darius Henderson

Chances of playing Saturday: 9/10

Was brought off early to save him for the weekend no doubt, and will perhaps partner 3million man Ched Evans in attack.

Billy Sharp

Chances of playing Saturday: 5/10

Did what he does best last night; made space in the box and fired home. Evans will probably get the knock on Saturday, but should fitness become an issue, Sharp will be knocking on the door.

Jordan Robertson

Replaced Henderson (56)

Keith Treacy

Replaced Little (68)

Nick Montgomery

Replaced Quinn (81)

Kevin Blackwell

"I gave some players opportunities after they have knocked on my door asking why they were not playing. Now I can turn round and say 'that's why'.

"Nobody bashed my door down tonight. I have been saying that I need another two or three and this performance proved it. Some of them showed that they are not up to it when the chips are down and I will clear some out."

Date:Tuesday August 11 2009
Time: 9:52PM

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Whoops !!!!!
Tiny T
11/08/2009 23:01:00
Good start to the season by you lot so far, keep up the good work
12/08/2009 03:49:00
Oooh look, a wendy on the site. You beat Rochdale and your over for a game of brag? Not bothered about last nights result so long as we win saturday. You can stick the cups for me but I wish the club would be straight with the poor buggers that turned up last night!!
12/08/2009 08:34:00
I dont understand Blackwell, looking at that side theres Bennett(who to be fair was a toss up with Bunn for first choice before Boro') Bromby and Sharp, the rest are first team and HIS new signings so whats he on about knocking on the door and clearing everyone out?
12/08/2009 12:30:00
The real worry was after Benno threw the ball in his own net, the team went completely to pieces. The players Blackie is referring to are Quinn and Howard, both need clearing out.
12/08/2009 12:40:00
Once again we fell apart after going behind! We had 25 minutes to atone for Benno's mistake and didn't really create a clear cut chance other than long shots. Can't agree with your Bromby "didn't do anything wrong" comment Sheps. He gave the ball away in the box early on and had to race back to atone for it, he was at fault for their first goal by watching the ball sail over his head and he nearly gifted them a third with a terrible header back to the keeper. Now I've made it quite obvious that I'm not Bromby's biggest fan but after last nights performance he'd struggle to get into Vale's side for Sat!!!
12/08/2009 14:01:00
the cup games are a totally different priority to the league games for us so this result doesn't affect me at all - nevertheless we should have done a lot better against a very poor side especially at home too. as i've said before we just ain't good enough. the first 10 games of the season will spell out what sort of season we are going to have - and i can more or less feel it in my water whats going to happen this season. i'm going for 8th placed finish for us come may.
12/08/2009 14:06:00
sounds like a night when everything went wrong. I'm not usually a doom and gloom merchant but is does feel like we're a side struggling to fight against a general malaise. We need an attacking player to step up and really go on a run of good matches to give ourselves confidence going forward and instill a bit of fear in the opposition. Maybe that man is Ched Evans. KB has a lot to prove to me after his near capitulation in the days after wembley. If he doesn't really want it the players never will.
12/08/2009 14:40:00
h picked the team, the blame lays with the manager who thought it would be easy
Tiny T
12/08/2009 23:34:00
next round of the cup.......................... port vale v wendy!!!! blessing in disguise i reckon
13/08/2009 00:14:00
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