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Sheffield United
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Bramall Lane


Attendance: 23,456


Dark clouds loomed over Bramall Lane as the referee brought today`s game to a close, on what was a grey day for all involved.

Two inconsistent defences, and the return to Bramall Lane of Neil Warnock meant that this fixture had all the ingredients to be a classic, but the 23,000+ inside the ground will have left disappointed.

Richard Cresswell put the Blades in front with an excellent header, before an error from Marcel Seip allowed Jay Simpson to equalise early in the second period.

Kevin Blackwell was forced into changes once again, with Lee Williamson, Jamie Ward, Kyle Bartley and Ched Evans all missing out, replaced in the side by Mark Yeates, Henri Camara, Stephen Quinn and Marcel Seip.

It was the visitors who created the early chances, Adel Taarabt being at the centre of most of it. United`s first effort came on ten minutes when Yeates` pull back was fired over by Camara.

Hogan Ephraim and Jay Simpson both went close, with the post coming to the rescue on one occasion. With just a minute to go before half-time, Yeates crossed from the left, and despite facing away from goal, Cresswell converted a powerful header from twelve yards beyond former Blades loanee Carl Ikeme.

Early in the second period Yeates put swung in a free-kick which Camara and Cresswell both stretched for, but neither could make contact much to the relief of Ikeme.

On forty-nine minutes a long ball over the top was not dealt with by Seip and Simpson outmuscled the on-loan defender before rolling past the helpless Bunn.

United`s goalkeeper was on hand to keep them in the game soon after when the impressive Taarabt bent a free-kick over the wall, but Bunn was able to tip over with an acrobatic effort.

The final opportunity came to substitute Darius Henderson who failed to make contact with Cresswell`s centre with just a minute and a half remaining.

Blades: Bunn, Nosworthy, Morgan, Seip, Stewart, Yeates, Harper, Montgomery, Quinn, Cresswell, Camara.

Subs: Bennett, Taylor, Fortune, Lowton, Little, Henderson

Shep's View

Well, it`s a long time since I`ve had my two-penneth, but following today`s performance, I think it`s about time.

First of all, I was angered after reading the team sheet. Six substitutes, one being a goalkeeper, three defenders, one 35 year old winger, and an unfit striker. Hardly a game changing bench. With a wealth of pacy forwards in the academy, who have had experience in the reserve team throughout the season, why not give one of them a place? Fair enough, these 17 year olds might not be the finished product, but how many times do you see raw pace come off a bench at all levels and grab a goal from nowhere through sheer surprise?

Not at Bramall Lane. If defeat had resulted from today`s game, Blackwell`s first excuse would be "I didn`t even have enough people to fill the bench". Getting your excuses in before the game is pretty much as under the cosh as you can get.

Secondly, despite possessing quite an impressive leap, what on earth does Jordan Stewart bring to our team. It makes you think, if you were in prime athletic condition, you could play in the second tier of English football.

Going through the team, I thought Bunn did alright, as he has on and off this season, but a more consistent goalkeeper is going to be required if anything is to be achieved. Across the backline, words cannot describe Nyron Nosworthy, from the sublime to the ridiculous pretty much explains our full-back. Chris Morgan has excelled himself and come to the rescue too often this season, Marcel Seip had a shocker, but before condemning him immediately, he did look impressive when he was first drafted in. Jordan`s best I stop there before it gets libellous.

In midfield, Yeates was our only creative outlet today, and whilst he may frustrate some at times, he`s integral to the side if we want to score goals. Nick Montgomery put in a typical "Monty" performance. James Harper is the safest player in the football league, with no pass going beyond 3 yards. This is all well and good, but doesn`t work alongside Nick Montgomery. As for Stephen Quinn, whilst far from perfect, was better than most.

Finally, up front. Richard Cresswell continues to get goals for the side and run himself into the ground, and today his partner Camara was fairly ineffective, and based on the number of offsides today, has been watching Darius Vassell`s greatest hits & misses.

On the bench, Kevin Blackwell left it late to change things, and his decision to put Henderson on for Harper was a good one, and one I agreed with. Glen Little`s introduction sparked something in the ground, and he clearly is capable of carrying this team, but what sort of situation are we in, relying on a 35 year old winger? Also, Yeates was not the right man to replace when you`re going for a winner.

Date:Saturday March 13 2010
Time: 10:05PM

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Sheps, I agree with your view on the players. I always try to be as positive as I can even in the most disappointing games, but just how Blackwell can pick Stewart AGAIN after his absolute debacle at Palace and even worse performance at Peterborough defies ANY logic. Stewart has been released by more clubs than you can count. He isn't a footballer, simple. Believe me, his performance yesterday was a hundred percent BETTER than at London Rd! Andy Taylor might not be everyones answer at left back, but he's far better than Stewart.
14/03/2010 09:04:00
On the subject of Monty, my advice to him is sign the two year contract quickly, and be thankful that its for so long, before someone changes their mind.
14/03/2010 09:06:00
Really with you,Shep, on the bench - a disgrace not to give what is supposedly our future a chance to gain some experience. Otherwise, again some poor selection and tactical decisions by this now joke of a manager. Time to move on before it all falls apart
14/03/2010 20:03:00
harrogate it's already fell apart mate!! i was sat there yesterday just bored, not one bit of interest and when creswell scored i just got up slowley and clapped my hands..that's never happened ever and i've been going since i was 7 and im 30 now. time for the season tickets to go to some other fool i thinks!! i left with 20 mins to go and was relieved to get out of the grouns. it was amasing actually how many people were on the streets at 16:30on there way home. 2 words....F++1NG AWFULL!!
14/03/2010 20:11:00
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