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Sheffield United 1-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 14th Oct 2017 17:15

Chris Basham’s goal four minutes after half-time saw Sheffield United to a 1-0 victory over the Blues at Bramall Lane. Martyn Waghorn went closest to scoring for the Blues with a shot against the bar shortly after the Blades’ goal, but the home side deserved their victory.

Striker Joe Garner missed out having picked up a knee injury as Town made three changes from the team which lost 3-1 to Bristol City a fortnight ago.

Bersant Celina and Jordan Spence dropped to the bench, while Myles Kenlock, Grant Ward and Adam Webster - who was making his first league start since January - all came into the XI in a 3-5-2 system matching the Blades’ formation.

Webster was to the right of skipper Luke Chambers with Jonas Knudsen to his left. Myles Kenlock and Dominic Iorfa were the wing-backs.

Tommy Smith was on the bench, back in the matchday squad for the first time since recovering from his hamstring injury.

Neither side threatened in the opening 10 minutes at a warm and sunny Bramall Lane, although the home side had most of the ball.

Town’s first serious attack came on 12, Knudsen playing a well-weighted ball down the left for McGoldrick, who cut in and found strike partner Martyn Waghorn but the former Rangers man was crowded out as he looked to turn and get in a shot.

But the Blades were looking the more dangerous side and on 18, following a freekick harshly awarded against Kenlock, Chris Basham returned the ball into the area but beyond all his team-mates and it was turned behind for the first of several home corners.

On 24 Jack O’Connell rose above Webster from John Fleck’s corner but nodded the ball well into the stand housing the Town support.

There was a scare for the Blues four minutes later when possession was lost on the right after Chambers and Iorfa were put under pressure and the skipper slipped. Bialkowski closed down Billy Sharp who cut the ball back and, with the Town keeper out of his goal, Webster was able to clear .

Enda Stevens sent in a dangerous cross from the left which flew across the area without anyone getting a touch, moments before the Blues won their first corner of the game on a rare foray into the Blades’ half. However, it came to nothing.

On 32 - Town having switched their system with Webster ahead of the back four and Waghorn and Ward wide - Waghorn sent McGoldrick away with a clever ball down the right and the Irish international crossed low but too far in front of Ward, who was breaking into the area at the far post.

A minute later, Leon Clarke was booked for an untidy foul on Ward, much to the frustration of the home fans, who may have had a point, although up to then they had had much the better of referee Tony Harrington’s over-fussy approach to officiating.

The Blues were starting come more and more into the game and on 34 Waghorn smashed a shot from distance on the right which home keeper Jamal Blackman palmed behind. From the corner, Knudsen won it in the air and headed over. The Dane will feel he should have done better.

Town were inches from going in front in the 37th minute when the ball broke to McGoldrick on the left of the box following Nydam’s shot from Ward’s cross from the left, but the Blues’ number 10’s effort went just wide.

Blades defender Kieron Freeman suffered a knock in the build-up to the chance and following treatment was stretchered off and was replaced by Jake Wright.

McGoldrick scuffed wide from distance in the 43rd minute with the Blues continuing to threaten.

In the second of five minutes of injury time, Chambers’s clearance was charged down by Sharp on the Town right and Knudsen did superbly to prevent the one-time Town target’s low cross from reaching Clarke and Bialkowski equally well to react and avert an own goal.

Blackman was almost embarrassed by McGoldrick two minutes later, the Blues’ striker reaching a long ball before the keeper could claim on the edge of his box but the interception fell helpfully for the on-loan Chelsea man who was able to claim.

The Blades wasted a freekick 25 yards out moments before referee Harrington brought the half to an end.

The home side had had much the better of the first half an hour but without creating many clear-cut chances, although much of that was down to some staunch defending from the Blues.

Town came into it more in the final 15 minutes following their change of system and Knudsen and McGoldrick may both feel they should have taken their opportunities.

The Blues switched things around ahead of the start of the second half with McGoldrick moving out to the right and Waghorn down the middle.

Four minutes after the restart the Blades took the lead. Fleck got away from Webster down the Sheffield United left and sent in a cross to Basham, who got in front of Kenlock to head past Bialkowski from six yards.

The Blues almost levelled in the 55th minute when Nydam found Waghorn, who brought the ball inside on the left of the area and crashed a shot against the crossbar.

Town made their first change of the game in the 58th minute, Flynn Downes taking over from Kenlock, which saw Knudsen move to left-back, Webster to left centre-half and Downes into midfield.

Within seconds of the switch Sheffield United went close to doubling their lead, Clarke striking the bar with a powerful shot having cut into the box from the right.

Waghorn had another chance to level for the Blues in the 62nd minute of an increasingly open game. McGoldrick, now back in the middle between Waghorn on the right and Ward to the left with the Blues lined-up 4-3-3, played in the Town number nine on the right of the box, where he turned and hit a shot across the face of the box.

The Blades swapped captain Sharp for youngster David Brooks on 68 and soon after the Wales international and Knudsen clashed as they chased a ball down the middle. Referee Harrington penalised the Dane and showed him a yellow card.

Four minutes later, Town swapped Nydam and McGoldrick for Celina and Freddie Sears. The Kosovan international was straight into the action, heading a bouncing ball over after Chambers had nodded back a Waghorn corner from the left.

On 80 Brooks brought the ball in from the left before hitting a weak shot through to Bialkowski. A minute later, Mark Duffy crossed from the right and Clarke’s bouncing header was claimed by Bialkowski to his left.

With six minutes remaining Celina crossed deep from the left but the ball was too high for Iorfa at the far post. As Blackman prepared to take the goalkick, Duffy was replaced by Daniel Lafferty.

In injury time a Celina freekick from the left - Cameron Carter-Vickers having been booked for a foul on Sears - was just about dealt with by the Blades backline, then two long Knudsen throws from the right were similarly repelled.

But the Blades weren’t to be denied a win which takes them to second in the Championship behind leaders Cardiff on goal difference alone.

While the Blues might have claimed a draw had Waghorn’s shot not struck the bar or his later effort not flown across the face of goal, the home side could just as easily have added to the goal they scored just after half-time and were in charge for the most part after the break.

Other than the final couple of minutes Town never put the Blades under significant pressure during the second half and a home win was a fair reflection of the game overall.

The Blues, who are now down to 10th, are next in action a week tomorrow in the East Anglian derby against Norwich City, who drew 1-1 at home to Hull City climb up to eighth a point ahead of Town, at Portman Road.

Town: Bialkowski, Iorfa, Chambers (c), Webster, Knudsen, Kenlock, Ward, Skuse, Nydam (Celina 72), Waghorn, McGoldrick (Sears 72). Unused: Gerken, Smith, Spence, Connolly.

Sheffield United: Blackman, Basham, Carter-Vickers, O’Connell, Stevens, Freeman (Wright 40), Fleck, Duffy (Lafferty 86), Lundstram, Clarke, Sharp (c) (Brooks 68). Unused: Moore, Donaldson, Hanson, Lafferty, Carruthers. Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland). Att: 25,799 (Town: 1,452).

Photo: Action Images

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Spanishblueblood added 17:19 - Oct 14
Poor tactics and poor team selection from a poor manager!
When are the happy clappy brigade going to realise we are going nowhere under this buffoon!

vanmunt added 17:22 - Oct 14
I think a few people on here got a bit over excited by the Sunderland result.

Hamish1979 added 17:23 - Oct 14
Very predictable result. After an impressive start to the season, it seems like normal service is going to resume.

Battyboy added 17:23 - Oct 14

Poor performance again, but expected result. Need football players who can keep the ball with prolonged procession, we won’t get anywhere with hoof ball or route one!

jas0999 added 17:23 - Oct 14
Let’s be honest. We reverted to last season: went there to defend, set up for a point, hoping to nick all three, bore everyone, be negative and frustrate. We got what we deserved from that style of play - nothing.

After last seasons debacle, we started well, albeit against some woeful opposition. Since mid August, in all competition, we have lost SIX of our last EIGHT. It’s very poor.

Still, Evans will stick with Mick. The owner also thinks he’s invested significantly. So, it’s now a case of enjoying the occasional good games in the hope we don’t hear the dreaded announcement that Micks contract has been extended. That would be the end for me.

Bluetone added 17:25 - Oct 14
Play for a draw and hope to maybe nick a win works really well doesn't it?

righty added 17:26 - Oct 14
McCarthy is a loser IDIOT

RobITFC added 17:27 - Oct 14
3 defenders on the bench - says it all really!!!

cat added 17:29 - Oct 14
Defeat just don't hurt like it used too!!! The only way the 'Dino' will change his ultra boring & negative tactics is when his hand is forced.

Rensham added 17:32 - Oct 14
Well done mick sticking with plan A, one of those shots goes in and we get a point. Will do better against a weak Norwich. COTB

sydneytown added 17:32 - Oct 14
think we have been found out ipswich ladies play some decent football maybe have a look at the coach theyve got surely better than what we have now

Geoff added 17:34 - Oct 14
Mick out how much longer have we got to put up with his pathetic tactics and boring football. No wonder the fans are not coming back the reason we are staying away is he is still there.

midastouch added 17:36 - Oct 14
Didn't sound great and a cause for concern but I shall reserve judgement till next Sunday 2pm (as that's a million times more important as far as I'm concerned) as if we win against the Budgies I'll happily lick Mick's boots if he wants me to! But if he puts a load of defenders out and leaves Celina to rot on the bench and we go down in grim fashion I'll be baying for Yorkshire blood!

martin587 added 17:40 - Oct 14
Defended well in the first half,but lacked any penetration whatsoever.We desperately need a midfielder with vision as we have the strikers there.
Very poor team selection though,I did think we would go and attack instead of sitting back.As others have said we reverted to the same old style of last season.
The best form of defence is attack and that we did not do today.I must say though,we did miss Garner with his guts and determination.
Plenty to think about on the drive home but not all is lost just yet.We really need to win next Sunday to get the confidence back.

Mick_Mills_Tache added 17:44 - Oct 14
Let's break this down for the happy clappy brigade...

First 4 League games - 4 wins - 12 points
Last 7 League games - 2 wins and 5 losses - 6 points.

Please tell me Mick is doing a fantastic job.

itfchorry added 17:46 - Oct 14
McCarthy OUT

Check out the attendance at our first home
game after he leaves

planetblue_2011 added 17:49 - Oct 14
Not sure what to say on this one listened to the game & agree with Alex Mathie's two comments,
Why take McGOldrick off he was our best player with Waghorn, also Iorfa take him off if he's not having a good game. To be honest can't get my head round why Spence didn't start he's been great for us this season at the back wherever he's played.
Ok Sheff Utd are on a good run but Mick got a few things wrong today in my book.
The good start isn't so good now, only way to get our season back on track is beating the scum next Sunday!! We need to get at them from kick off to stand a chance of anything against them⚽️⚽️

Swn98 added 17:49 - Oct 14
Until players earning 5k a week plus can do a simple thing like defend a corner it doesn't matter who the manager is.

peteswindon added 17:49 - Oct 14
Outplayed,Outclassed always looked 2nd best. Something needs to change.

Elizabeth added 17:52 - Oct 14
💤💤💤💤💤💤. Same old negative comments !!

Rensham added 17:53 - Oct 14
play Webster in midfield. drop skuse and get adakeymi fit. decide who are our central defenders and stick to it same with full backs send sears out on loan with Bishop

Seasider added 17:54 - Oct 14
Six defeats out of the last 8 games speaks for itself.

The apologists will say that we only lost 1-0,the team is together, behind the Manager ;and we have not lost by more than 2 goals this season.

Against this Ipswich are in their 17th season in the Championship, I believe.McCarthy has been in charge for 5 years now and Ipswich have been as likely to be relegated in two of these seasons,nearer the top in another couple;and mid table the 5th.

The football has left a bit to be desired,and during McCarthy's tenure crowds fallen by some 25% which the happy clappy brigade cannot argue with.

Turning to todays match,once again over run in midfield;Nydam seems a bit lightweight despite Mick bigging him up.Chambers a wholehearted player but didn't have his best game.Webster a bit rusty and Knudsen still looks better at centre left than left back.Plus' Waghorn and Didsy look decent up front.

However still unable to even get a point from any team in the top half of the table,and we have now slipped into mid table;so the early season optimism by some has started to wane somewhat.

Onto next week so can Town actually do what they have failed to do this decade,and beat Norwich?I hope so;but wont be putting any money on it !!!

Edmundo added 17:59 - Oct 14
@Elizabeth, same old negative football after another false dawn. Have you actually sat through any games?

itfchorry added 18:04 - Oct 14
Come back Penguin Blue - you are missed !


runningout added 18:14 - Oct 14
negative comments come from people that care. Successful teams look for negative or call it constructive criticism after good wins too

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