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Same Story, Different Day

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Sheffield United

Fratton Park

Saturday 5th March

Attendance: 15,096


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.

Star Player

Riise. Central to almost every Blades attack.

Son of Gloucs's View

There were few smiles as the players trudged off the coach but an unusual huddle at kick off suggested the Blades were maybe ready to have a go once more. What materialised was a poor first half for the Blades although Portsmouth didn`t work Simonsen too hard. The second half was much better and it is true that the players did deserve a point. But despite significantly more useful corners and crosses from both Quinn and Riise, the strikers continuously failed to get on the ball and test the keeper. The away crowd sang from start to finish and refused to take out their disappointment on the players. That said, an alternative version of the tune by Depeche Mode/The Saturdays - I Just Can`t Get Enough revealed just how fed up the loyal band is getting.

Date:Sunday March 6 2011
Time: 6:35PM

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some of the songs from blades fans were very funny. glad there are still a few with a sense of humour, hard though aint it.
06/03/2011 19:26:00
Let's be honest, we are down now! Time for a radical rethink! Given that the current regime will not sell up and disappear (but then who is likely to buy?) how about some major changes before the drop and in preparation for the third tier ..... Replace MA with Pemberton for starters - its a statement that we are looking to the future! Get rid of the dead wood and useless loan signings ... I would keep Monty, Morgan, possibly Quinn, Henderson and Evans (though doubtful either will stay), Riise (ditto) and maybe a couple more to give us experience and blend in the youthful talent we seem to have. If we can avoid selling any of the emerging talent (unfortunately a big IF on past record) this would give us a much-needed fresh start and could be the way forward. Those of you who disagree, feel free to suggest an alternative long term strategy or magic wand.
06/03/2011 19:42:00
I have no magic wand harrogate but as you rightly suggest there's absolutely no chance of Evans or Hendo staying. Their astronomical wages for league 1 will mean that they have to move on. Unfortunately, i fear if the likes of Slew were going to be the future saviours of the club then they may have had a chance by now. I think it's going to be a case of a massive amount of players in and out over the next 18 months (a bit like Warnock used to do) as we strive to find a team capable of putting a few results together. I would keep the spine of the team, the likes of Quinn may flourish in the lower division and being a so called bigger team in the league, players may want to play for us. It's going to be scrappy though and i'm certainly not looking forward to it so here's to 3 wins on the spin starting with Forest on Tuesday night.
06/03/2011 21:57:00
wont be easy to come back up and we will be a "bigger" club donw there but wont be able to compete with wendy and soton hudds (if the last two dont go up) for wages...evans hendo quinn monts will all be gone make no mistake...cant be paying 10k + to those next season..
07/03/2011 08:10:00
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