Blades Maintain Unbeaten Start
Sat. August 27
Almost 1400 Blades fans made the long trip down to cider country on one of the busiest weekends of the summer on crowded motorways, in time for a lunch time start thanks to the inconsiderate Yeovil constabulary.
United came away with the three points thanks to Chris Porter`s first goal for the Blades at the end of the first half following good work from Cresswell and Lowton, Porter heading in from under the bar in front of the sparsely populated home terrace.
The Glovers fans had become increasingly frustrated as the first half wore on as referee Keith Stroud awarded the visitors a string of free kicks and waved yellow cards as Yeovil worked hard to compensate their one dimensional game with some mistimed and robust tackling. Only O`Brien down the left provided any variation from the long ball game as the home side relied on hitting on the break.
As the Blades fans suffered the frequent heavy downpours on the uncovered terracing, United continued to try to play the ball on the floor often struggling to get the ball moving on the long grass. Despite enjoying good possession, United`s neat approach play seldom produced a result to trouble the Yeovil keeper until Porter put United ahead on 41 minutes.
Referee Stroud needed a stewards` escort to walk him back to the dressing room as a few of the locals took exception to his performance in the first half.
The home side emerged in the second half with a barrage of long ball and enthusiastic running, O`Brien putting in a good cross which stretched Collins and Lowton.
Montgomery then clashed with Wotton, whose elbow made contact with Monty`s face, then Monty was on the floor clutching his ankle and stretchered off several minutes later with a brace on his leg.
Porter somehow managed to get in Stephen Quinn`s way twice as he lined up his shot on the edge of the box; the resulting scuffed attempt was easily gathered by keeper Steer.
From that point the half degenerated into a scruffy stop-start dog fight as United`s play began to mirror the ale house football of their hosts. Referee Stroud turned his whistle on the visitors resulting in a stream of set piece ball and long throws into United`s box. Simonsen was forced into a good save from Williams then was down well to his right from Edgar as Yeovil became more frantic.
Yeovil Man of the match Haynes-Brown was then sent off after a crude tackle on Slew.
Six minutes of added time and another downpour failed to dampen the Blades fans long trip home.
You-know-who, but no name in case the scouts are reading this! …Also, Michael Doyle was again quietly effective in mid field and Richard Cresswell`s tireless running and experience up front never allowed the home defense a breather.
Phew. I always knew this was coming, having been in this division before, but I had forgotten just how awful it can be. Relentless long ball, agricultural tackling and dogged defending, add to this stadia that can`t even provide a roof over the away terracing and I begin to remember just what the third tier is all about.
Danny Wilson is clearly changing the way United play, for the better. For long periods of the first half United stuck to the plan of ball on the floor and moved it about well, though with little impact on the home team`s goal. Yeovil`s midfield were overrun by Doyle - who continues to look a different player to the one who struggled last season - Monty and Quinn, these three should dominate in this division if we manage to keep hold of them.
United were gradually sucked into a pretty awful second half, but I suppose we would say that that was all about being able to mix up their game to suit the opposition.
Despite the areal bombardment, United`s back four looked solid, perhaps just needing to find a better 'out` ball on occasion to break up the play.
Four wins and a draw from the first five, a very long way to go still but the early signs are encouraging.