Taylor double in vain for battling blades
Managerless Sheffield United slipped back to the bottom of League One as their late efforts were thwarted at Coventry City.
The blades trailed 3-0 in the second half but two goals from Lyle Taylor, his first for the club since arriving from Falkirk, set up a tense finale.
Coventry were cruising at 3-0. Strikers Leon Clarke and Callum Wilson were a constant threat for the home side. Clarke put Coventry ahead on six minutes and Wilson doubled the lead just after the half hour. Clarke scored his second of the afternoon early in the second half and in the blades current form, many would have expected them to capitulate but they showed signs of fight for the first time this season as Taylor blasted home a free kick just past the hour before heading home his second with just ten minutes remaining.
The blades created a couple of late chances but they could not find a third goal to salvage a point.
The first half summed up the season for United. A lack of firepower up front as they failed to trouble Joe Murphy in the Coventry goal whilst slack defending saw them punished.
Clarke opened the scoring on six minutes first the first chance of the game when he was given time and space to guide his effort past George Long.
United tried to hit back straight away but former Coventry striker Marlon King couldn`t keep his header on target.
Wilson doubled the lead on 32 minutes when he was allowed to get across the defender and fire home after Carl Baker got in behind the United defence.
Clarke had a chance to add a third soon afterwards but this time Long saved his low shot.
Jose Baxter wasted a good chance to get the blades back into the game close to half time. He fired over from a free kick after being fouled by Adam Webster, who was booked for the incident. Moments later, Webster upended Febian Brandy and he should have seen red but Premier League referee Mike Dean angered United by not producing a second yellow card. King took this free kick but his tame effort straight at Murphy summed up a powder puff first half from the blades.
Clarke, who had scored early in the first half, did it again in the second, when he was put in and he coolly picked his spot to score past the helpless Long.
Many feared that the blades could be on the end of a big defeat but instead they rolled up their sleeves and showed a sign of what the new manager when he arrives, will have liked seeing.
Brandy forced Murphy into his first real save of the afternoon soon afterwards and they were given a glimmer of hope on the hour when Taylor, who had not scored for the blades since his summer arrival from Falkirk, fired through the Coventry wall from a free kick.
Ryan Flynn almost scored a second for United minutes later when he latched onto a long ball but Murphy kept out his powered effort from close range.
Substitute Stephen McGinn then saw a header clear the bar as the blades began to believe they could get something from the game.
Conor Coady had the best chance to bring the blades back to within a goal deficit when his diving header just cleared the bar.
Taylor headed his second goal for United with ten minutes remaining when he got on the end of a good cross from Ryan Hall.
Coventry tried to shut up shop and it wasn`t until the third of six minutes added time that they came close to equalising. McGinn`s glancing header taking a deflection before being kept out by a full stretch Murphy.
The sky blues were relying on breakaways and Maguire headed clear a Clarke effort after Long had been caught out of his goal and John Fleck saw his follow-up header deflected over.
It was to prove the final chance of the game as the blades made it ten games without a win.
Murphy, Willis (Phillips 77) Webster, Fleck, Adams, J. Clarke, Moussa (Barton 81), Thomas, Baker (Daniels 67), L. Clarke, Wilson.
Subs not used
Manset, Burge, Garner, Haynes
Long, Westlake, Maguire, Collins, Hill, Doyle, Flynn (Hall 73), Baxter (Taylor 41), Coady, King (McGinn 57), Brandy
Subs not used
Howard, Lappin, Murphy, Ironside
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