Blades Steel Tames Lions
Saturday November 13th
Andy Reid`s beautifully taken goal after half an hour was enough to give the Blades all three points at The New Den this afternoon, and record the first win in five games.
Speed named Evans to play up front, Cresswell moving to the bench. Nosworthy reverted to central defense with the masked Kyle Bartley; Jean Calve came into right midfield, with Reid playing in behind Evans up front.
The opening minutes saw action at both ends, Simonsen had to make a save in the first minute then Reid`s shot after 3 minutes was held by Forde then Simonsen hung on to a well hit cross as both teams set off at a high tempo.
The home side created a number of good chances in the first twenty five minutes, United`s back four getting out of shape on several occasions, once contributing to a mass scramble in United`s box in the 15th minute. United were struggling to get into Millwall`s box, but whenever the ball reached Yeates he always looked likely to produce something positive.
After half an hour came United`s best move of the half. Stephen Jordan intercepted and with one touch sent Mark Yeates away, his well measured through ball found Reid in space at the edge of the box, with a defender closing in, Reid took the ball around him, waited for the keeper to commit himself then crashed the ball in off the underside of the bar, right infront of the fantastic travelling Blades fans.
Kyle Bartley dominated the centre of United`s defense, with some aggressive and determined defending despite his injury as the Lions continued to create openings, one timely interception preventing a certain one on one attack for the home side. Alongside him, Nosworthy was the usual curate`s egg of instinctive powerful defending and heart stopping moments of kamikaze.
As the half ended Evans headed just wide from a Yeates cross then Jordan hit a volley over from 25 yards out.
Kenny Jackett obviously had the hairdrier out at half time as his team started the second half with aggression and in the first minute created a chance for Marquis. Lowton then made a timely interception as Millwall pressed.
United continued to give away far too much ball but despite Millwall`s possession, Simonsen was rarely threatened despite the regular uncertainty in United`s back four where Bartley worked hard to pull things together.
Jackett made early changes to no avail as The Blades confidence grew and Britton and Reid began to get the ball down. Late in the game a couple of desperate theatrical dives were waved away by referee Bates as the determined Blades, superbly supported by the 1000 or so Blades fans ran the clock down.