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Richard Rescues Blades against Resilient Rovers

Sheffield United
1 - 1
Doncaster Rovers

Bramall Lane


Attendance: 26,211


Richard Cresswell bagged his first Blades goal to give the Blades their second successive draw after coming from behind.

Cresswell netted the equaliser in the second half with a header from close range, after James Hayter had put the visitors in front.

Kevin Blackwell made a number of changes to the team, with Jordan Stewart, Richard Cresswell and Glen Little all getting their first starts of the season, in place of Andy Taylor, David Cotterill (on the bench) and James Harper (missed out altogether).

Doncaster lined up in a similar way to last season, with Sam Hird protecting the back four, and often stepping back, to make a back five. Despite Hayter starting up front on his own, it was the visitors who got the first attack, Shiels going close early on.

That would be the last time Rovers made it into the Blades area until the goal. The Blades dominated their visitors without testing the goalkeeper, balls in the box were being cleared, and bodies were being thrown in the way. Jordan Stewart made a good run down the left and cut back for Ched Evans, but the Welshman fired well wide from a good position. The Blades did have four early corners, of which three found their way to Andrew Davies, deputising for Matt Kilgallon, but his headers were all wayward.

The Blades were punished for not making the possession count just before half time. Shiels again the catalyst, setting up Hayter whose deflected shot wrong footed Bunn and found its way into the Blades goal.

Cresswell ended the half with a shot, but it was saved by the 'keeper after good work by Henderson.

Ryan France replaced Nick Montgomery at half time, who added to the Blades injury woes with a bang to the knee. The Blades levelled early in the second half. Little's deep cross appeared to come off either the crossbar or Sullivan's finger tips, and Cresswell threw himself at the ball, to make it 1-1, hitting the post himself in the process.

The Blades almost went ahead soon after, a cross from the right was met by the head of Darius Henderson, but his effort came off the post. United were still on top, with Rovers showing little signs of their trademark passing game. However, the chances still weren't coming until Kyle Walker surged into the area in injury time, but Sullivan tipped his effort over the bar, leaving the Blades with just a point from this South Yorkshire derby.

Star Player

Of course, it's easy to just give the goalscorer the man of the match award, but Richard Cresswell deserved it today. Aside from the goal, the ex Stoke man put himself about, never backing out of a challenge, and competing in the air. His attitude was epitomised with the goal when he picked up a knock in the process.

Player Ratings

Mark Bunn

Very little to do, was unlucky with the goal due to the deflection.

Early season School grade so far: B - Looks good, but not perfect.

Kyle Walker

Was his usual self, little to do in defence, but going forward can provide a real threat.

Early season School grade so far: A- Been caught out a couple of times, noticeably at Swansea, but showing real signs of class.

Chris Morgan

Solid at the back, and one a couple of occasions even played the ball out of defence.

Early season School grade so far: B - Started well, but the centre of defence is looking shaky at the moment. (Leading the man of the match polls).

Andrew Davies

Excellent in the air, a liability elsewhere. Luckily didn't have much to do yesterday.

Early season School grade so far: Not really seen enough of the loanee.

Jordan Stewart

Began well, showed a real threat going forward, and even reached the byline, but tired later on.

Early season School grade so far: Not enough games to have an opinion

Glen Little

Looked excellent, and claimed yet another assist, but began tiring towards the end.

Early season School grade so far: Only played two games.

Nick Montgomery

Got a knock, but played his usual game throughout and even had a shot from 25 yards.

Early season School grade so far: A - Integral to the team when chasing a game, but not always perfect.

Stephen Quinn

Not quite as impressive as Tuesday night, but still a good game.

Early season School grade so far: A- After a terrible start to the season, Quinn has turned it round, thanks to Kevin Blackwell replacing him with Brian Howard. But following being dropped, Quinn began to look like the player who first broke in to the team in 2005

Richard Cresswell

A magnificent performance from the winger who showed the kind of determination and unpretty style that Neil Warnock's teams used to possess. Deserved his goal, and could easily be set for a spell up front.

Early season School grade so far: Too early to judge, but looking ok so far.

Darius Henderson

More of the same from Henderson, unlucky with the header against the post, but that's all really.

Early season School grade so far: C - Pass, just! Hindered by the officials, but needs to prove the fans wrong who are on his back.

Ched Evans

Rather anonymous in the game. Not a lot more to say really.

Early season School grade so far: D - Scored 3 goals, but hasn't lived up to the hype despite clearly having the ability. Must do better!

Ryan France

Replaced Montgomery at half time,did ok. Looked composed on the ball, but needs to work on his positioning off the ball.

Keith Treacy

Replaced Evans on 75 and immediately looked in the same form as in recent weeks before his injury. Could be a Vital player this season, needs to be signed in January.

David Cotterill

Came on for Little towards the end, and showed more of the same. The two can make that side their own, allowing Ward to be moved up front. Cotterill's pace is handy in the second half against tiring defenders, and Little's quality is also an assett as a substitute if the Blades are chasing a game.

Kevin Blackwell

Kevin Blackwell told the official site, "We have dominated the game for long spells in terms of possession, stats, efforts at goal - whatever you want to come up with - but it is not quite happening for us in the box at the moment.

"They scored a scruffy goal that came off Kyle Walker and went through Mark Bunns' leg with probably their first visit into our 18 yard box.

"It gave them a platform to sit on and they set up to stop balls getting into our forwards. But Sullivan made two saves from his own players, and from Quinn and Cresswell, as well as being helped by the woodwork from Henderson.

"I am disappointed and frustrated but I can't complain about what the lads gave me. We had Cresswell, Stewart and Little making full debuts and France hasn't played much for us yet.

Date:Saturday October 3 2009
Time: 6:12PM

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Impressed with Cresswell, its important to have a goal threat coming in off the wing. Me might as well play an out an out striker there with the current lack of confidence running through the side. I cant put my finger on the problem but the lack of pace in my opinion could threaten the season. We miss ward badly (i didn't think i would be saying that when he signed) and we seem reluctant to recieve, make a triangle and pass the ball on (basic passing and moving) at the minute. Something good clicked last season when Halford played right and Cotts left last season. We started passing, the tempo was much higher and the chances and goals came. Opinion is becoming divided on Cotts but he does at least possess pace and creativity. I could have had a snooze yesterday quite easily and missed nothing. They all need to pull the finger out. Did Ched play yesterday?
04/10/2009 10:44:00
Ched who?
04/10/2009 11:36:00
To be honest there were signs of improvement the channels were used a lot more and the changes I felt were extremely welcome. Richard Cresswell brings a bit of aggression and muscle in the midfield which we lack completely. I thought Jordy stuart made a bright start and did tire but looks a more enterprisig full back than Taylor who is average to say the least. Glenn Little I feel is essential to the blades particularly at home. He is the only player on the pitch that puts his foot on the ball ad has the confidence to play. The way him ad walker hooked up yesterday was very exciting but agree he is not matc fit. Finally the forwards. I thought Henderson played really well yesterday holding up the ball ad liking up with those aroud him and I disagree with the C that he has been given for this season. If you're playig with someone as lazy and disinterested as Ched Evans you might as well be playig on your own. That is so far the bigest waste of 3 million I have seen.
04/10/2009 15:58:00
sorry but evans isn't fit to lace up beatties boots. Having missed the last 2 homes games due to going to florida i can quite easilly say that i havn't missed anything. the team choice yesterday was shocking. this team nor manager will get us promoted.
04/10/2009 18:06:00
bladeforlife, that's where you've been. We've been worried sick, I've even had a couple of emails asking where you were. You'll have to start telling us if you're going away! Although, a 9 hour flight with 2 kids...I don't envy you mate.
04/10/2009 20:00:00
I thought we actually played quite well yesterday IMO. If we put away half our chances in the last 2 games, both results would have been cricket scores. We are creating loads of chances! someting is clearly not right with Ched. Cresswell looks a goal threat, as does Hendo when the cross comes in from the by line. Little made an impact on Tuesday and played well yesterday, but cant do the full 90. Worryingly, Monty has a possible cruciate knee injury and for me he has prove a lot of critics wrong (including me), over the last year. If we can start converting some of our chances we will do well, I can honestly see things coming together soon and some teams getting a real hammering. If we had put one more chance away in both of the last 2 games, our league position would be very differant and no one would be complaining about team selection or performances IMO. Its a long season and with the teams in this divison a top six finish would be a good season.
100% BLADE
04/10/2009 20:35:00
I agree with much of your summary 100% Blade. However, although i agree we could have won both games easily, that does not mask the dire performances given in both games. I'm far from reaching for the noose but they were two very very poor teams in Ipswich and Donny on the day. 6 points were crucial and we got 2. Agreed that no-one would be moaning if we had won both but everyone would still be worried about our recent performances.
04/10/2009 20:48:00
the flight there and back was not too bad to be honnest sheps but when you have a 3 year old bombing all over the place in disney with his red n white blades shirt on - now thats a task!! we saw 4 blades on are travels and 1 pig - which i just couldn't help going up to him, shaking his hand and saying 'bloody hard lines mate' - he just laughed and sunk is head!! - like the new style forum by the way - well done!!
04/10/2009 20:52:00
we have a good but very very small squad which is worrying. when everyone's fit we can easilly be up there in the top 2 but take away all the loan signings and what do we have? again yesterday after been away for 2 weeks its was all about our horrible football, and blackwells shocking tactics. its ok people saying we arn't losing many in blackwells deffence but we also arn't winning many either. we are a quater into the season and for me we arn't looking good at all.
04/10/2009 20:58:00
May I also add that I am a season ticket holder in the kop and have been for many years. However, my mate has 2 seats in the south stand, front row right at the side of the bench. My mate has been in New Zealand for the last 4 weeks and I have used his seats for a change for the derby and yesterdays match. From those seats you can quite clearly hear everything that KB is shouting to the players. Yesterday his treatment of Treacy was an absolute disgrace. I was as close to KB as KB was to Treacy and he was shouting at Keith calling him a ' F***ing lazy ba****d!'. This happened more than once and Treacy didnt look happy. Will Treacy sign permenant? Would You?
100% BLADE
04/10/2009 21:00:00
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