Ched's Class Defeats Spireites
It was one moment of class from Ched Evans in the 82nd minute that saw the Blades take home all three points atr the b2win Stadium on Saturday. In a game that lacked quality Evans' run and well placed low drive sent the 2000 travelling fans into rapture and kept the Blades hot on the heels of the top four.
The Blades had to replace the ill Richard Cresswell and Nick Montgomery who was out due to personal reasons. This saw Porter come in up front and Mcallister make his first start since August.
The first half did not provide a great advert for League One with misplaced passes and lofted balls being easily snaffled up by both defences. In truth the extremely windy conditions the Blades had to play against in the first half really went against United who at times struggled to get the ball from out of their own half.
The first moment of incident saw a Chesterfield defenders high boot catching striker Porter on the head. As a result the defender Trotman was booked and Porter had to leave the pitch for treatment.
As the last ten minutes of the first half approached United managed to create two good chances. The first coming from a Quinn cross aimed for Porter and though the attempt was cut out by a defender the rebound was lashed in by Evans which stung the palms of Chesterfield goalkeeper Fleming. This was followed moments later when the Blades failed to find the net from a good old fashioned goalmouth scramble. In a serious of events that would have looked more at home in a schoolyard Porter was only able to convert his effort onto the post following good saves from Fleming.In truth this should have given the Blades the lead going into the first half.
The second half saw a change in tempo from the lacklustre first half and both teams seemed to have been re-energised by the half time break. Evans had a handball claim rejected by the referee and the increasingly more impressive Simonsen cut out a Mendy cross.
Chesterfield began to gain a stronger foothold in the game 10 minutes into the second half and were using the pace of their wingers a lot more with both Williams and Lowton having to be on their toes. This pace was evident when a United corner fell to the feet of the pacy Obadeyi who outpaced McAllister over the length of the field only to see his tired effort roll easily into the arms of Simonsen.
The resurgent Chesterfield nearly took the lead from a corner on 65 minutes. When cleared ball from the United defence was headed back into the box towards former Wednesday man Leon Clarke whose overhead kick looped onto the top of the crossbar. In truth it was a good effort from Clarke with his back to goal but was unlucky to see it not find the back of the net.
It was then the United fans turn to rue their luck. A Lowton whipped in Lowton cross found its way to Quinn whose poor touch bounced over the already commited Fleming into the back of the net. However, the Blades fans celebrations were soon stopped when it became apparent that the linesman had his flag up for an offside.
As both teams looked for the win the game became more stretched and there was more room to exploit. When Quinn collected the ball from Simonsen his 20 yeard dribble was ended with a clever pass to Evans. With about fourty yards to the goal Evans cleverly turned his marker and was then allowed to rund with the ball for twenty yards before firing the ball past Fleming into the far left corner. It was a moment of pure brilliance from a man who is only now after two seasons and a half beginning to endear himself to the United faithful.
The last ten minutes should have been a testing time for the Blades if we are going by how they have held leads in the past. Nevertheless, they held firm and unlike previously held the ball extremely well. It was they who looked more likely to score and Stephen Quinn nearly did so only to see his low effort palmed wide of the post by Fleming. However, this did not have any affect on the outcome and it was the Blades who went home with the three points in a very tough local derby.
very good win for the Blades indeed. Although on the surface level a game against the bottom placed team in the table should be an easy win, Chesterfield surprised me in how well they equipped themselves particularly in defence. Simonsen seems to be growing more and more in confidence as he plays more games and it seems if his time out of the first team was extremely beneficial for the former Everton keeper. The back four defended well generally and were rewarded with a clean sheet. Williams made up for his poor first half performance with a solid second half showing. Collins once again underlined why he has been our most consistent performer all season and Maguire supported him well at the back. In midfield McAllister and Doyle worked well. Doyle seems to become a completely differnet player when he is not playing alongside Monty and McAllister seemed to give us a bit more of a attacking option from midfield. Williamson and Quinn were both frustrating on each wing. Nevertheless, Quinn was involved in much of the Blades attacking play. United suffered up front from lack of strikers highlighting our need to get Beattie fit asap. Porter tried hard and has good movement but his lack of pace and quality often frustrates. Evans was impressive but will benefit by playing alongside a more penetrative striker alongside.