Dominant Blades Raid Rams
Saturday 11th September
In a game dominated by the Blades the only surprise was that the final score wasn`t much more decisive.
Gary Speed said "we had a lot of things to work on after the Preston win, we didn`t create enough chances, which is what we have been working on ". That work certainly paid off as United created chance after chance in a game that they controlled but never finally killed off. Next weeks training priority will undoubtedly be finishing!
As it was, Richard Creswell`s first goal of the season in the 15th minute settled the points.
An unchanged team meant a seat on the bench for captain Morgan as Speed continued to develop United`s new style. Both teams were looking to play the ball on the floor and Wards pace down the right with Calve`s drive to get forward was giving Derby`s Roberts a torrid time, Calve providing the cross for Cresswell to convert at the far post in front of the travelling Blades fans.
Evans had a good effort saved, then after half an hour, United created three more chances in quick succession, Wards ball in, missed by Evans followed by Ertl`s blast over the top following good work from Evans then Cresswell headed a foot wide from Calve`s cross with Bywater a spectator.
Derby`s only threat to the unemployed Simonsen in the first half was a Brayford cross which Commons failed to get on the end of.
At half time had the score been 3-0 everyone would have said that was about right. Derby had possession in the first half but failed to penetrate United`s back four where Bartley was again solid alongside Nosworthy in the centre.
The second half continued in the same pattern, United looking likely to add to their score every time they attacked. Cresswell clear on the left squared across the six yard box with no one able to convert. Then Ward`s pace left defenders in his wake, his cross met by Evans shooting just wide.
Derby`s only threat came from Commons, whose cross to Green on the hour was met by an off target header when he should have tested Simonsen. Savage was withdrawn on the hour, no doubt to allow him time to prepare for his radio show, let`s hope he put more effort into that! Bueno replaced Savage and was warmly welcomed to England by a robust challenge from Nosworthy for which he saw yellow.
Quinn replaced Evans and shortly after drilled a low shot across Bywater just inches wide of his far post after a neat back heel from Ward. Then Wards cross found Montgomery whose shot was deflected for a corner, which fell to Monty again in front of goal for him to blast over.
To loud ironic cheers from the home fans Commons fired a 25yd shot directly at Simonsen, Derby`s first on target after 76 minutes.
Derby full back Roberts then injured himself and had to be stretchered off after a nasty foul on Quinn. Having been badly mauled by Ward and Calve he was probably relieved to get to the safety of the dressing room.
Ward then shot just wide from a Quinn cross shortly before being replaced by Yeates to an ovation from Blades fans.
Five minutes of injury time passed without any threat from the home side. Blades fans stood to cheer their side off as the whistle blew.