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Young Harry Gets Blades Off To Winning Start

Oldham Athletic
0 - 2
Sheffield United

Boundary Park

Saturday 6th August 2011

Attendance: 8,032


United got their Division One season off to a winning start at Boundary Park in front of 3600 noisy travelling fans. Danny Wilson selected new signings Flynn on the right wing, Porter up front with Cresswell and Jean- Francois at left back.

The Blades began brightly, moving the ball quickly to feet and attacking consistently down their right side and for twenty minutes enjoyed the upper hand against the home side who took until midway through the half to get to grips with the game and begin to compete more physically.

Neither side created clear cut chances in the half, Jean- Francois clipped the top of Ciask`s cross bar from 25 yards and Flynn was denied by a desperate tackle on the edge of the box. The home side`s threat amounted to a couple of half chances, neither troubling Simonsen.

United's back four coped well with the home sides attack, for whom Taylor & Smith stood out. Jean-Francois looked comfortable on the ball and pushed forward whenever possible, his confidence and close control delighting the Blades fans. Up front Porter was competitive, and Cresswell worked hard as always. Quinn was busy down the left and a constant threat.

United started the second half at high tempo. Cresswell won a corner on the right almost immediately and Quinn`s out swinging kick found Harry Maguire 12 yards out who headed powerfully past Cisak. The players celebrated in front of the massed Blades fans, two of whom strayed onto the pitch and were promptly led away in handcuffs by the police! Quinn was booked by the inconsistent referee Drysdale for celebrating a little too much.

Quinn`s influence on the game continued to grow, Porter directed a well weighted pass to him down United`s left, and Quinn used the space to measure a cross for Cresswell to convert from six yards. More celebrations for the Blades fans, Quinn kissing his shirt badge for the fans (?)

Oldham had to wait until the 70th minute for another half chance, Furman blazing over from distance. Danny Wilson subbed Williamson for the tiring Flynn, who had shown the ability to work hard tracking back and supporting his full back, before Oldham created their best chance of the game, the ball ending up on top of Simonsen`s net after a corner and deflection.

After 78 minutes, United created a chance with a flowing move started by Monty to Cresswell down the right side who created an opening for Lowton to fire across the keeper but a foot wide of the far post.

A mle in United's box ended with Lowton clearing off the line then Bogdanovic - who had replaced Porter - had a chance to score a third when keeper Cisak spilled a Williamson through ball but recovered to smother Boggy's shot.

The last ten minutes saw the home side desperately trying to make some headway against United's defense, who ended as they had begun, looking settled and in control.

Star Player

Stephen Quinn. Became more and more infulential as the game went on. Oldham couldn't handle his control and movement. His outswinging corner provided Maguire with the opening goal, then his intelligent hold and cross for Cresswell the second. Jean-Francois had a very encouraging debut, his style of play quickly pleasing the travelling Blades fans.

Glouc's View

An encouraging start and a relatively comfortable win. The first opening day win for 6 years and great to hear the fans in good voice after the disappointment of last season. A 4-4-2 formation in which 3 new signings slotted in to varying degrees and Danny Wilson's promise to play attacking football was clear for all to see in a game where United were able to mix their game up enough to get the result.

On today`s showing Jean-Francois will quickly become a crowd favorite. Chris Porter is competitive and will win ball in the air. Ryan Flynn showed a few flashes but looked tired when replaced after 70 minutes. New loanee Mendez-Laing will probably get a run out on Tuesday. It will be interesting to see pace down both flanks and it is a few years since United had that.

Date:Sunday August 7 2011
Time: 11:56AM

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I was quite worried by the line-up - so many creative players left out - but I began to see the rationale for a potentially tricky first/away game. Wilson is really impressing me - he looks like the kind of manager to move us out of this division. I suspect his home team will show more flair. The pace of two wide players is a mouth-watering prospect!
08/08/2011 18:50:00
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