Blades Steal A Point
Saturday 15th January
Blades fans have complained all season about the lack of any luck going their team`s way, well a large slice of that missing luck was repaid today at the Ricoh Arena. Some would even argue that we have used up a bit of the second half of the seasons allocation!
Mickey Adams surprised many by including both new signings, Mattock and Lowry, the later only having been introduced to his new colleagues on Friday. It certainly looked like a group of strangers as Coventry came out of the traps at break neck pace and won a succession of corners in the first ten minutes, as their wide men tore into United down the flanks and put the ball into the box at every opportunity.
United`s kindergarten back four ably assisted by Monty and Williamson struggled as the home side pounded away relentlessly, mixing up the direct approach with some neat passing and moving. Corner after corner continued to threaten Simonsen`s goal, but a combination of resolute defending, good goal keeping and some poor Coventry finishing kept the score blank.
Up front, Ward partnered Evans but neither saw much of the ball, both having to fall deep to help out in defence.
After half an hour Simonsen made a succession of outstanding saves as the pressure continued to build. Two double saves, the first of which was a stunning stop as McSheffrey looked certain to score then Eastwood looked to have broken the deadlock but the keeper was down quickly to make the save.
The pressure continued through to the half time whistle, when the travelling Blades fans breathed a sigh of relief and the Sky Blue fans shook their heads in disbelief at not going in four up.
Mercifully, United started the second half brightly and for ten minutes put City under a bit of pressure. Ertl had a half chance but it struck a defender as Quinn got a couple of good crosses in. The relief didn`t last very long as City picked up the pace again and Bartley and co had to pick up where they had left off. Mattock and Bartley were treading a fine line but their determination and sheer work rate was outstanding.
Half chances continued to come for Coventry, and from a McSheffrey free kick at the edge of the area the ball somehow rebounded off the bar and Simonsen and found its way onto the top of the net.
Shortly afterwards a rare flowing move from United produced the clearest opportunity of the game. Williamsons pass found Quinn on his own inside the area with only Westwood to beat. With plenty of time Quinn hit the ball against Westwood`s body and the chance to make a complete mockery of the game was gone.
Cresswell and Bogdanovic came on with fifteen to go and Britton replaced Williamson with a few minutes left. McSheffrey put another over the bar and United and the fantastic away Blades breathed again as referee Webster blew his whistle!