Town 3-2 Sheffield United
Saturday, 8th Feb 2003 18:55
Ten-man Town made a sensational comeback from two goals down to win 3-2 at home to Sheffield United. Two weeks ago in the FA Cup the Blues almost completed a similar revival only to be beaten in the last minute, but this time around goals from Darren Bent (2) and Darren Ambrose completed a memorable afternoon.
As promised Joe Royle made a couple of changes, Darren Bent replaced Marcus Bent with Darren Ambrose coming in instead of Jermaine Wright. Royle also switched the formation with Matt Holland moving into midfield with a four-man backline of Makin at left back, Hreidarsson and Gaardsøe in the centre and Fabian Wilnis on the right. Ambrose and Darren Bent played attacking roles wide on each side ahead of the midfield with Couñago the only conventional attacker.
Prior to the game PA announcer Rob Chandler paid tribute to assistant manager Dale Roberts who died earlier this week. As he closed his eulogy applause broke out in the North Stand and spread throughout the stadium. The minute's silence was perfectly observed by home and away supporters.
The early stages of the game saw neither side create any clear-cut chances, but the Blues have the better of the possession. The first real opportunity of the game fell to Darren Bent who was played in on the right by Darren Ambrose. Bent closed in on Paddy Kenny but put his shot too close to the keeper, who gathered to his right.
The half undoubtedly changed in the 20th minute when Pablo Couñago clashed with Michael Brown on the edge of the Sheffield United area. Brown appeared to hold the Spaniard as he tried to hold the ball up and continued to do so even after it had been cleared.
As the two broke Couñago caught Brown in the face as he freed himself, although by no means as hard as the Sheffield United player claimed. Referee Richard Beeby was quickly on the scene and was in no doubt about what had happened, sending the ex-Celta Vigo man for an early bath. Brown probably deserved a yellow card for his role in the melee but received nothing.
Beeby had annoyed the Town support even before the sending off, waving away a number of freekick claims from Kabba, Ndlovu and Brown but failing to
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