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Ambrose Stunner Beats Blades

Crystal Palace
1 - 0
Sheffield United

Selhurst Park

Saturday 19th February

Attendance: 14,214


Darren Ambrose`s stunning 69th minute volley pushed United further down into the mire of the Championship relegation zone and left Micky Adams and the travelling Blades fans wondering what the team have to do to win a game.

The Blades enjoyed the majority of possession throughout the game, played the ball on the floor and moved it wide at every opportunity, but the seasons Achilles heel of lack of fire power in front of goal was once again their undoing.

Palace employed a shoot on sight from distance, which Simonsen dealt with comfortably. United demonstrated patience on the ball, Adams has certainly got the pass and move game going now but final balls were not good enough or strikers were not in position to capitalise.

Throughout the team, confidence looked to be creeping back. Nosworthy`s return certainly strengthened the back four, who looked comfortable with Lowry alongside Collins. In midfield Riise pushed forward at every opportunity, and was always looking to bring the strikers into play. Quinn worked hard in midfield and Cresswell ran tirelessly with very little to show for it.

The first half had produced chances at both ends, Speroni punching away a ball that was easier to catch in the opening skirmishes, Neil Danns almost capitalised on an aging assistant referee missing a clear offside - twice - as Palace pushed forward. Simonsen then pulled off his only real save of the game, palming away a deflected Ambrose free kick after 25 minutes. Riise's cross forced another corner as United continued to enjoy greater possession.

United weathered the opening ten minutes of the second half and began to force themselves back into the game. As they continued to push Palace back and commit men forward, a hurried defenders clearance found Danns and Vaughan who moved the ball on to AMBROSE who volleyed well beyond Simonsen from the edge of the area. A brilliantly taken half chance that deserved to win any game.

A flurry of yellows followed as United`s frustration at being behind surfaced. United then pushed more players forward as Evans, Bent and Yeates came on to try to rescue the point. Palace caught United pushing forward and could have punished them twice before Bent had a header cleared off the line with 4 minutes left.

Star Player

MOTM Was Nyron Nosworthy with Neil Collins also having a sound game.

Gloucs's View

Another game, same problem. United were the better side, had greater posession, played to feet and there were encouraging signs that a bit of confidence is returning. Let me say right away that Ambrose's goal was at a level well beyond this game. A half chance at best, everything before this had been from distance, but Simo had no chance with this strike. United didn't deserve to lose but at the same time I couldn't see where a goal was going to come from. Nosworthy strengthened the back four, and had one of his best games for United.

Five points adrift now and it's looking bad, but the addition of Riise can make a big difference, I expect to see him more infulential in future games. With Harry's infulence, I also expect set pieces to improve.

Date:Sunday February 20 2011
Time: 11:26AM

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Well i hate to say it but i fear that we are now well and truly down. We played well but still couldnt see a goal coming from anywhere, Palace are awful and still managed to get the 3 points. I cant see where the next goal is coming from never mind the next win and we need a lot of them to have any chance now.
20/02/2011 11:32:00
Lets face it the management and board at BDBL have gradually allowed the quality of our playing staff to be eroded. From the team Neil left us with to the team we have now there is no comparison. You buy 3rd division players thats where you end up. From being one point off staying in the premiership we have been mismanaged to the point of disbelief. I know when players want to leave you can't stop them and Jags and the like deserved their chance at the higher level.But some of the signing we have made were well and truly awful. We kept Blackwell in charge for too long and then replaced him with the clueless Speed who couldn't wait to jump ship. I feel sorry for Adams he's got nothing to work with. We are well and truly up S**t Creek without a paddle!
20/02/2011 16:04:00
Disastrous result Saturday - some pros but the bottom line is that we lost and the no-win mentality is now deeply entrenched. It pains me to say it but if we lose against Scunthorpe, the writing is on the wall. Some of us old- timers have had to suffer this before as Glouc will no doubt confirm and I will find it hard to go through it again. Still, being a Blade has never been easy but its in the blood - once a Blade etc! Should defeat on Tuesday lead to a radical rethink - start preparing for life in League 1, get rid of the dead wood (much of the current squad), start to bring on some of the youngsters such as Slew in the remaining games? As for the manager, I'm really not sure - is he the man to take us forward or do we need to bring in one of a crop of new dynamic managers from the lower leagues? Crucial time - what do you Blades think?
20/02/2011 18:49:00
PS this may be pessimistic but is not an attack on MA who has been given absolutely nothing to work with. It is not even an attack on McCabe and co. though I have to say the lack of any positive input and reassurance from the board is worrying. Where is our fairy godfather, ready to come in, buy out the old and bring in some serious investment?
20/02/2011 18:57:00
Some really thoughtful postings lads, lots of truth in what you have said.
21/02/2011 13:21:00
0-0 really does seem our best hope in any game at the moment. We just can not score in open play. So when CP scored there was no way back. We never get anything at Scunny...the season is on the brink...3 unlikely points? Drop Williamson and Cresswell and keep Nos in the team, he tightened the defence.
21/02/2011 13:48:00
Whats up with vokes? Is he injured long...Nos is good he just had a few iffy ones - that back 4 should pretty much remain - maybe jordan / lowton is something that needs to be decided but im ok with that and with simmo seen aswright isnt fit...front two vokes and for midfeld son of glou who you replace willaimson with? quinn in the middle? I dont think we have much options bar palying williamson to be honmest - im ok with riise one side quinn / yeates the other, doyle / monty holding..its either williamson / ertl / quinn in there and its got to be Williamson for me at the minute..Youre really right though with the 0-0 call - if someone scores ive no cinfidence in getting out of it an dsadly neither do the players...we've scored two pens in five games! the last open play goal was evans well taken one against norwich and before that kozzy against donny! Is adams the man to take them back up? im not sure i think he struggles during games to spot porblems but glad hes axed parrino from the team, and hes brought in a couple of big strong centre backs, and a big lad up front in vokes..time will tell but id like him to have chance to build a squad he wants..pace is whats missing from UTD but Blackwell got rid of all the pace from the team a long time back and we are now suffering for it
21/02/2011 15:07:00
Sorry to bring it up again but I'm totally baffled at how Cresswell not only kept his shirt on Sat but the armband as well?!? At a time when we need every player performing well (especially our forward line!) and Adams keeps our worst performer on the pitch AND makes him captain? All I'll say is he must be amazing in training!!!
21/02/2011 15:51:00
sonofglouc is right gleadless willo has no pace at all and can barely get through a game. he was totally out of it after an hour at palace. i would put Lowton in midfield and play jordan at full back. Lowton has fitness and a bit of pace although jordan struggles against a speedy winger.
21/02/2011 18:41:00
Have to say Gleadless that your team selection smacks of lower league not the Championship though I do agree about the lack of pace - we have some good young talent - what have we got to lose?
21/02/2011 18:55:00
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