Same Story, Different Day
Saturday 5th March
It was a case of same old story down at Fratton Park this weekend. After gifting the opposing team a goal with less than 30 minutes on the clock, the Blades were left chasing the game once again. But a good second half showing where United dominated and were arguably the better team left everyone feeling more than 'nil point` was deserved.
Team spirit was on show before the match as the Blades players finished the warm up with high fives. Adams stuck with the same team as against Derby with Lowry missing due to taking his anger out on a dug out and gaining an extra one match ban. The ref had to hurry both teams along as they huddled before the kick off.
Pompey, on the back of a five game unbeaten run with no goals conceded, started the brighter. Collins had to be alert to clear from Nugent early on. The first chance for the away team fell to Evans whose long shot was well over on 10 minutes. Riise then broke free and his strike was cleared for a corner.
Simonsen was called into action on 20 minutes making a clean save from Nugent.
One of United`s old boys Greg Halford then put a free kick well wide when a ball into the box may have been more fruitful based on United`s previous set piece howlers. And it was the usual set piece goal that United conceded on 24 minutes. Another United cast off Cotterill swung a corner in and the ball fell nicely for Hreidarsson to slot home beyond Simonsen. A mix up between De Laet and the keeper Ashdown almost presented Quinn with a golden opportunity to level but the ball fell back into play and clear of the goal.
At the other end Cotterill rounded Ertl and Simo saved the shot from Kitson. That was the last action of the half.
The Blades started the second half brighter with Cresswell winning a free kick after receiving a shoulder barge from De Laet. Ertl won the header to see his shot cleared off the line but the whistle had gone for a foul. De Laet then set off on a long run from inside his own half and crossed the ball for Kitson to draw a save from Simonsen. But that was to be the last Pompey chance for a while as the Blades had a prolonged period of possession lasting 20 minutes. United had their best chance of the match with Quinn firing a low shot just wide of the keeper`s far post in front of the vocal Blades fans.
As the pressure eased on Pompey, Adams wasted no time first by bringing on Vokes for Doyle and then on 77 both Bogdanovic and Bent were bought on for Nosworthy and Cresswell. Buoyed by the support from the fans Boggy had an early chance shooting at the keeper.
United continued to push for the elusive goal with Riise central to most attacks. And Collins met a Riise free kick to head at Ashdown.
However, the fans sensed League One was more likely than a goal as they sang a version of Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) but rather than going to Wembley the Blades do look like they are off to Shrewsbury.
Four minutes of stoppage time passed and the whistle confirmed it was unlucky 13 for Adams and 6 in a row for Pompey.
Son of Gloucs's View