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Defensive lapses cost Blades

Coventry City
Sheffield United

Ricoh Arena


Attendance: 14,426


Defensive lapses were a major factor in Sheffield United losing their undefeated record in the Coca Cola Championship at the Ricoh Arena tonight.

Goals from Jamie Ward and James Harper weren't enough for the Blades who lost thanks to goals from Leon Best, Clinton Morrison and Martin Cranie.

It's the first time the Blades have conceded three goals, since the start of December 2008 when Burnley managed a trio at Bramall Lane.

The Blades made just one change, with Matt Kilgallon missing due to a chest infection, so Ryan France played at full back, with Kyle Walker partnering Morgan in the centre.

The Blades defence were at sixes and sevens from the off, and were eventually punished on twelve minutes. Ex Blades target McIndoe finding Best who comfortably outmuscled Walker and got the better of Taylor before firing across goal past Bunn.

The Blades were struggling, and appeared to be the team that hadn't won since the second game of the season, as Coventry took the game to them. It was Ryan France, the culprit for the second Coventry goal. The new signing from Hull City failed to deal with Montgomery's ball, and was dispossessed by McIndoe, playing provider again, rolling the ball across the area for Clinton Morrison to bag his fourth of the season.

The goal ten minutes later, which would turn out to be decisive again saw an error at the back. McIndoe setting up his third of the evening after Martin Cranie headed home his corner completely unmarked.

On a more positive note for Blades fans, the two goals will provide talking points leading into the derby on Friday evening. The Blades had made it 1-1 just after half an hour; Taylor's long ball picking out Ward who cut inside and unleashed a left footed thunderbolt that Westwood couldn't save.

Westwood did prevent the Blades taking the lead towards the end of the half however, Stephen Quinn racing free, but was prevented by Westwood when he really should have done better.

With United trailing by two, with just 15 minutes remaining, they were given a slight glint of hope, Ward's shot was saved by Westwood but James Harper was on hand to net his first Blades goal.

Ched Evans skimmed the cross bar in the final moments of regular time, and despite five added minutes, the Blades were unable to salvage a point.

Blades:Bunn, France, Walker, Morgan, Taylor (Stewart), Ward, Montgomery, Quinn (Evans), Harper, Treacy (Cotterill), Henderson

Unused: Bennett, Reid, Little

Star Player

A poor performance by the Blades considering the recent displays, and nobody really shone for United. Therefore, the Vital man of the match goes to 'could have' been winger Michael McIndoe, who set up all three Coventry goals, and almost got on the scoresheet himself.

Kevin Blackwell

'If you don't take your chances and give away 'Mickey Mouse' goals then you don't deserve to win games'.

'We spurned three or four nailed-on chances that would have seen off Coventry - there's no doubt about that - and then we give them goals.

'If you do that, you can't win games.

'Effort and commitment were there, but we weren't smart tonight.'

'They talk about this word 'bouncebackability' - let's see if that happens on Friday,' he said.

'There is no doubt I shouldn't have to pick them up, that's for sure.

'They were frustrated tonight because they knew they should have got something out of the game.

'I hope we've learnt if we create those chances on Friday they better be taken.'

Date:Wednesday September 16 2009
Time: 12:25AM

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wasnt there last night but interesting report and comments from KB...thinness of squad showed us up, got to question sense in selling brmby without adequate cover (sure the club could have afforded to stump up wages of harper without need to sell bromby) adn the worry that we missed chances again - those who were there who missed them?...we dont have any strikers who can score it seems...hendo hasnt notched yet, evans was benched again, ward has scored a few but not from up front but wide and someone the other day said he missed a couple of one on ones...i dont think its a major worry but we need a few bodies in
16/09/2009 08:48:00
This league is so tight, games hang by a thread bare so the one thing you can ill afford are mistakes. We made 3 tonight and got punished for all of them. A very shakey start from Walker who got caught under the ball, a mistake by Monty who flicked the ball into Mcindoe's path for a clear run at goal and some uncertain marking from a corner for a free header. We always seemed like we were chasing it last night. An unproffessional, hurried performance with no calm from the senior players. Im not too downhearted, we could have easily won the game as daft as it sounds (check out the match stats) but gleadless, as you say, it only served to highlight the fact that our squad is thin. 2 defenders and a striker for me are needed asap.
16/09/2009 08:56:00
Time for Cotterill as well for me. Everytime he has appeared from the bench this season he has changed games. Think Treacey has been fantastic and i like Ward cutting in from the left but Cotts is a true winger and knots up defenders. Love to see him start on Fri. Evans looked very sharp when he came on also so should start up top with Hendo. Anyone who went to Cov, opinions on France?
16/09/2009 09:01:00
France was pretty woeful TBW. To be fair to him, he's not a fullback, and it's clear he shouldn't be played there now! A number of times he went for a ball that another United player was in front of him for, and his passing was poor too. The whole back four looked really shaky last night. Walker had a mare in the first half and I don't think he won a single header against Best. It's very worrying what an effect losing Kilgallon had on the team. We NEED a centre back bringing in!!! On the bright side - Ward played well, along with Treacy and Cotts when he came on.
16/09/2009 09:20:00
Defensively we were awful - but what do you expect playing a makeshift rightback and Walker at centreback. ARE MCCABE/BLACKWELL COMPLETE P*LL*CKS? - we need more than 2 centrebacks. *****u may or may not be coming but why do we leave it so late. We face the prospect of another home game against Wednesday with a makeshift side. Even if we get *****u - he may be backup for Morgan but if I recall he's short of pace and therefor isn't a backup for Killa. McCabe/Blackwell get your fingers out and sort it - we can't get promoted with a squad of 17. One good thing I thought we looked good going forward last night.
16/09/2009 10:40:00
PS - Chest infection or on the way out - it isn't as if Mccabe doesn't have form with this type of misinfo
16/09/2009 10:41:00
Bucks - I agree, the return of the mysterious chest infection, otherwise known as a loan to a premier league club with a view to a permo in Jan, very worrying i reckon.
16/09/2009 11:26:00
By no means should it be panic stations. A couple of loan signings will automatically make things look stronger. Any news on Taylor after hobbling off? One bloke behind me shouted out after we let our second goal in "there yer go that was f***ing Monty's fault you stupid t*** blackwell" Not sure who he was blaming but covered both bases with that one. clever
16/09/2009 12:16:00
Fully expect Killa to go in January. However, why would we turn deadline day bids down only to sell him (loan with view to permo) only 2 weeks later? Don't see it myself, they will reassess in Jan is my guess when we decide to cut our losses and sit his deal out or cash in.
16/09/2009 12:18:00
This is Beattie's Ballbag, had to create a new account due to my old one seemingly breaking. I hope Ched's Chopper will recieve a warm welcome. Didn't go last night, but saw the goals on the box. Not to worry, the defeat was going to come sooner or later, much rather it was now than Friday. Plus, we may be spurred on to bounce back and it could prove a blessing. Agreed on the above though, we need some cover. Danny Poou would be a good signing as cover, but wouldnt fancy lining him and Morgan up against 2 quick strikers, Tyson and Earnshaw for example, theyd get ripped. Went on Saturday though and we looked excellent. It is starting to really get on my breasts that fans are making Henderson into the scapegoat. I think he's playing really well. Does anyone know if Killa is fit for Friday? I think he outlined what most of us have been saying for a while now: He is the key to our plans. United under Blackwell are all about being strong, fit, and solid. But without Killa, we look frail and vulnerable. Where is Geary? Is he still at the club? France isnt a good enough right back for this level I dont think, is Geary? Is he fit? On another note entirely, Ive heard we are trying to bring in Mcsheffery and or Harewood in on loan. Thoughts? And finally, did anyone see Purse's sweet head last night? He appears to be the dangerman for their lot at the moment. Brilliant finish from a tight angle. He did well.
Ched's Chopper
16/09/2009 13:29:00
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