Trap Door Swings Open For Owls
Sunday 18th April
In a derby game with so much at stake for one team and nothing other than local pride for the other, the atmosphere generated by the 5500 Blades fans at the old ground livened things up in S6.
Williamson replaced Little wide right, with Camara and Ched Evans making surprise returns to the bench.
Chris Morgan turned the hosts around for kick off, and it only took the lumbering Purse a minute to barrel into Quinn as he burst down the left. A series of corners followed as United pinned the home team back in the first ten minutes, from one, Henderson`s powerful header hit Grants right post with the keeper looking on. United were enjoying the greater possession and were knocking the ball around a Wednesday side looking nervous and unsure of what the game plan should be.
Henderson`s power and Creswell`s tireless running was causing the one paced Wednesday back four problems. It took the home team almost twenty minutes to muster an effort on Simonsen`s goal. Cresswell shot wide, then in a challenge out on the right he was clearly elbowed by Johnson as both players fell, seen by everyone other than referee Chris Foy. Cresswell went off for stitching and it was while he was off that the home team conjured up a goal. With Uniteds ten men looking disorganised, Varney got lose down United`s right, crossed for POTTER to score with a nice volley past Simonsen from inside the box. Queue much bouncing from the unusually well filled stands.
Half time arrived with Cresswell back sporting a head bandage and having a few friendly words with Johnson as he returned.
United needed a high tempo start to the second half, but Blackwell was clearly impatient, replacing the ineffective Harper with Camara just five minutes into the half. Cresswell moving out wide with Camara joining Hendo up front. Camara's pace and movement instantly giving the home back four a new set of problems.
A bit of afters between Quinn and O`Connor got both a yellow as at last a bit of aggression crept into the game. Quinn struck a good volley but straight at Grant then shortly after, Nolan fouled Quinn wide on United`s left, WILLIAMSON struck a long in-swinging free kick at Grants unguarded far post and watched as it sailed past everybody into the net off the inside of the post. Reminiscent of Michael Tonge`s free kick from a similar position a few seasons ago. United`s players celebrated at one corner of the Kop where there wasn`t much bouncing going on.
The home team`s heads appeared to go down after the goal. United were controlling the game for long periods, trying to play the ball on the floor whenever possible, with Wednesday resorting to long ball……isn`t that what United are supposed to do? Bartley replaced injured Andy Taylor on the hour, Nosworthy going to left back.
Wednesday were running out of ideas - not that they had had many so far - Johnson drifted in and out of the game, spending most of his time niggling rather than getting on with the game. Spurr's long throws were always a threat but Morgan, having a commanding game against which ever Wednesday forward came his way, was forced into a great saving tackle on Varney as one of the hopeful punts found the striker on the seventy minute mark.
Quinn`s cross just eluded Henderson in front of goal, and then Camara`s cross was just too high for Hendo who headed tamely to Grant, Camara shot straight at Grant then put the rebound into the side netting from a tight angle.
Little replaced Williamson into the last ten minutes and promptly gave away possession twice allowing the home team to up the tempo as they mounted a final assault in their desperation to scramble out of the relegation zone. Johnson - looking interested again - tested Simonsen, and then Varney found space for a shot, finally Johnson in the six yard box managed to put his shot wide much to the delight of the singing Blades fans in the Leppings Lane stand.
Referee Foy blew the whistle after four minutes of injury time, leaving Wednesday fans to work out the permutations for the final two games, and the chances of survival.