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Sheffield United 2-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 27th Apr 2019 19:15

Scott Hogan and Jack O’Connell netted a goal in each half as Sheffield United comfortably beat the Blues 2-0 at Bramall Lane to all but secure their return to the Premier League after a 12-year hiatus. Hogan turned home the opener on 24 and O’Connell added the second in the 71st minute.

Town boss Paul Lambert made four changes with the Blues switching to a three-man backline - matching home side’s system - with Cole Skuse a surprise starter in between skipper Luke Chambers and Toto Nsiala.

Myles Kenlock was back in the side at left wing-back with Callum Elder dropping to the bench, while James Bree was on the right.

In midfield, Teddy Bishop joined Flynn Downes and Alan Judge with Trevoh Chalobah and Andre Dozzell among the subs.

Up front, Kayden Jackson came into the team, with Gwion Edwards missing from the XI that started against Swansea, alongside Will Keane.

Town were under the cosh from the off at a noisy, buoyant and expectant Bramall Lane with McGoldrick not too far away from getting his toe to a Basham cross from the right in only the third minute. Soon after, another ball in from the right evaded everyone in the penalty area.

The early pressure briefly subsided as Keane suffered what looked to be a recurrence of his hamstring injury in the eighth minute and, Town having no striker on the bench, was replaced by Chalobah, who came into the midfield with Judge moving to a free role off Jackson.

But the Blades dominance continued once the game restarted and in the 12th minute McGoldrick got away from Chambers on the Town right but Nsiala cut out his low cross towards Hogan. The former Blues frontman might well have taken the chance on himself.

The Blues finally began to see something of the ball as the quarter of an hour mark was reached and in the 16th minute Downes shot wide from distance.

Town began to become more confident in possession and in the 23rd minute Bishop broke into the area before hitting a shot which was blocked out for a throw.

But two minutes later, the Blades took the lead. Jack O’Connell was fed in on the left, leaving Bishop in his wake, crossed low and Hogan touched the ball across Dean Gerken at the near post and into the net.

Having got their noses in front the home side resumed their domination but didn’t seriously threaten again until the 33rd minute when skipper Ollie Norwood’s shot from the edge of the box was deflected over.

A minute later McGoldrick almost created a second for the Blades with a sublime pass which fed George Baldock in on goal as he broke into the area on the right but the former MK Dons man was crowded out and the Blues eventually forced the ball away from goal.

Blades attacks continued to come in waves with the Blues digging deep defensively to prevent the home side from adding to their lead, while play rarely moved to the other end of the field where Dean Henderson in goal was a virtual spectator.

On 40 Norwood scuffed an effort wide from the edge of the box after McGoldrick had nodded back a ball into the area.

Chalobah headed tamely wide for Town following a Judge freekick on the right in the 43rd minute but play quickly returned to the other end of the field. In two minutes of injury time Judge was booked for a foul.

The home side were applauded off at the break after a dominant display which deserved more than their single goal lead.

The distance between the teams in league position terms was evident throughout the half with the Blues never seriously threatening, only briefly able to pass the ball around and spending much of the period desperately hanging on at the back against a slick and confident home side.

The Blades went close to doubling their lead three minutes after the break, Norwood slamming a freekick from a very tight angle on the left against the far post.

Town continued to struggle to keep the ball out of their own half of the field and on 57 half of Bramall Lane thought McGoldrick had headed his side’s second of the afternoon from a Norwood cross from the right but the ball flew the wrong side of the post and nestled in the side-netting.

A minute later, Gerken saved from Hogan, then blocked the follow-up but with the flag having been raised.

On 62 Blades club captain and 24-goal top scorer Billy Sharp - a Town target in January 2015 and on a number of other occasions - took over from Hogan.

Sharp almost made an immediate impact after being sent away towards the penalty area as the Blades counter-attacked following a rare Blues foray forward. However, Skuse read the situation and got across to take the ball away from the Blades skipper.

Town were left without any out-and-out strikers on the field in the 68th minute when Jackson was replaced by Dozzell.

A minute later, defender John Egan should have added to the Blades’ lead but headed Norwood’s corner over the bar when it seemed easier to hit the target.

However, the home fans wouldn’t have to wait too long for the security of that second goal.

In the 71st minute Fleck sent over a corner and O’Connell, the man who supplied the first goal, headed home to send Bramall Lane into raptures, fans knowing that promotion to the Premier League was all but confirmed.

On 78 McGoldrick was replaced to a standing ovation from the home support but also the Town travelling fans. Gary Madine took over, the in the 85th minute, with the game effectively over to all intents and purposes, John Lundstram replaced Mark Duffy for the home team, whose fans had already begun their post-match celebrations.

As the clock ticked over to 89 Judge smashed Town’s first shot on target from 35 yards but Henderson helped it over the bar and the resultant corner came to nothing.

Two minutes of injury time were seen out without incident before referee Tim Robinson’s whistle triggered the biggest cheer of the afternoon, Blades fans knowing that barring ludicrous scorelines in the final games they will be playing Premier League football for the first time since 2006/07.

A handful of fans ran on the pitch to boos from their fellow supporters before the home players celebrated in a huddle on the pitch.

Meanwhile, the Town players trooped off following yet another defeat having been thoroughly outclassed by a hugely impressive Blades side.

The Blues were never able to impose themselves on the match and but for some desperate defending and occasionally less than clinical finishing would have been beaten more comprehensively.

Town’s nightmare 2018/19 campaign will finally end next Sunday when they host Leeds at Portman Road in a game which following tonight’s match will be a dead rubber with the Whites now effectively out of the running for the top two given their goal difference.

Sheffield United: Henderson, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Norwood (c), Fleck, Stevens, Duffy (Lundstram 85), McGoldrick (Madine 77), Hogan (Sharp 63). Unused: Dowell, Madine, Stearman, Moore, Cranie.

Town: Gerken, Bree, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Kenlock, Skuse, Bishop, Downes, Judge, Keane (Chalobah 8), Jackson (Dozzell 68). Unused: Elder, Emmanuel, Bialkowski, El Mizouni, Ndaba. Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex). Att: 30,140 (Town: 914).

Photo: Action Images

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Minneapolis_ITFC added 01:41 - Apr 28
Wasn't expecting much from the trip and wasn't disappointed. Beaten by two goals when it could easily have been five or six was maybe a bonus but make no mistake about it, we're a team in serious decline and four wins in 45 League Games is an unmitigated embarrassment. Read one their goalscorers today was the kid from 'Starred Up' , didn't realize he played soccer also..

This weekend marks the 20 year anniversary of the loss of one Alf Ramsey. Shouldn't really say it and no offense, but it's just as well he's not alive today to see what a mess the club side is in he once took to greatness and Champions of England. We've hardly set a standard of honor for the great man not only today, but the season as a whole.

If this is some sort of surreal dream, can only hope I'll wake up from it all soon enough. Norwich as Champions, ourselves were we are, and where we're headed et cetera. I don't believe in the supernatural or a higher power, but someone somewhere must have a warped sense of humor.

RobsonWark added 02:04 - Apr 28
Minneapolis_ITFC Sir Alf Ramsey who went on to win the World Cup with England. Him and Sir Bobby Robson were the two best managers Ipswich Town and England have ever had.

shakytown added 03:46 - Apr 28
The worst thing is that there does not seem to be any intent by the owner or manager to make the wholesale changes needed at the club. until the basic problems are solved and they get their heads out of the sand we will just get worse.. These two for some reason seem to think the lightweight soft kiddies we have will be the real thing very soon but where is the evidence to prove it????? Sadly the massive shake up needed will not happen until they accept the fact that our current squad are just not even close to being good enough for the challenge ahead.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 06:11 - Apr 28
At the moment, I'd predict we are somewhere around mid-table in League 1. I can't see us beating the likes of Charlton, Portsmouth, Sunderland etc. Peterborough, Doncaster, and Coventry will probably give us a hard time, while Accrington in 13th place have already shown they can beat us, and Lincoln are on the way in. I can only hope our status will have changed by the start of the season, but I'm not holding my breath. Nonetheless, as long as we can see improvement, even if it's slow, then hopefully we can rescue our situation in the longer term.

Nobbysnuts added 07:19 - Apr 28
Men against boys I'm afraid. This squad will struggle in league one. We couldn't pass water today let alone a ball. Is Lambert the right choice for us? This question has got to be asked. His record is dreadful. Dont be fooled by all the talk. Dark times indeed and anyone who thinks we will walk league one is a fool.

warktheline added 07:23 - Apr 28

McCarthy's departure has now totally exposed Evans! Is he going to lead the club in a positive manner, and set new standards or continue to let the club drift into oblivion. What will Lambert's FYI be, exist in Division 1, similar to what McCarthy's was in the Championship ! To date Lambert has signed ( like McCarthy ) journeymen and 'sicknotes'! Where's the incentive Evans, on the pitch, for long suffering supporters to buy season tickets ( Relegation means price reduction, happy clappers )

Lambert's record is abysmal, he hasn't done anything to suggest he's going to turn it around! Even the likes of Rotherham ( yes Rotherham ) showed spirit in fight for survival and banged in a few goals, entertaining their 'small' fan base in the process! 'Likeable' Lambert was good ( PR emergency ) briefly but ultimately it's what people see over 90 minutes that counts, yeah, some will say, he hasn't got the 'tools' and I get that, but there are managers out there that elevate players on pure motivation !

Motivate yourself, or actively put the club up for sale! At least supporters then would know where the land lies! No more mugging off!

IF you decide to motivate yourself, ( with or without financial support on the pitch )get a manager in similar fashion, who can motivate players!

Unload 'deadwood' ( as McCarthy did initially )

Stop forcing managers to use journeymen and sick-notes! Totally counterproductive !


martin587 added 07:34 - Apr 28
Once again we the away supporters were outstanding.Today for the first time I’m going to be critical of the players and what I think of the club I have supported for over 60 years and followed home and away for most of that time with my father and now my son and grandson.
This for me is the worst team I have seen in a Town shirt and sorry to say I feel very embarrassed for us the supporters who have had to suffer the demise of our great club.
Although the owner has kept us afloat for me he has not invested enough and just uses this club as a status symbol.Maybe now he has seen the light of day going by what has been said lately ,but we shall wait and see.
The squad is brittle in most areas.Gerken is not good enough.Kenlock has not got over his injury and is not fit.Chambers is so past his sell by date and once again yesterday was making mistakes all the time.Good dressing room captain but not on the field.
Nsiala is still learning and has struggled but looks to be getting better.Bishop is improving all the time and I have high hopes for him next season to pull the strings in midfield along the Judge who Must play in the middle and not out wide.Downes is fine also but Dozzell is too light weight and I think will struggle in Div1.
We are desperate for two quality strikers.How ironically we finally play two up front and they both get injured.
We must play two up front in Div1.I watch a lot of matches in this league and it’s the only way to go. Keane is too injury prone and not worth taking the risk.I just cannot make my mind up about Jackson.
When we get our lad back from Swindon he is the the player to build around.For me the worst season ever and one I want to forget as many more supporter.I just hope and pray for better next season.
Down mark me if you wish but I feel I have been honest in my assessment.I could have been much much more critical but I will leave it there.
Let’s just hope we can at least put up a spirited effort next Sunday.

afcfee added 08:28 - Apr 28
Skuse as cb no thanks we won’t get anywhere next season with him in any position really worrying times. I’m worried he’s trying to get a contract as a lot of people talking him up unnecessarily. Hopefully Lambert gets some back bone and get rid massively over paid dead wood

Dolphinblue added 08:39 - Apr 28
I would be happy with Skuse at CB, excellent yesterday, great player...funny how all the managers (including MM) beg to differ with the moaners on Skuse and Chambers 🤔. Moaners moaning about lightweight youngsters.....did they not berate MM to play them last season 🤔. COYB Great next season awaits get yr season ticket and if yr really unhappy then find a new passtime and stop CORKING OUR JUICES 😋

Northstandveteran added 08:53 - Apr 28
Here's hoping that Skuse gets a new four year contract and Chambers another two to even it up with his mate.

And as for the 5 point plan, we managed 28 this season so stop the moaning.

I managed to watch 70 minutes before I could stand no more.

We looked so slow and disorganised.

Drastic changes needed but I'm not convinced Lambert is the man to do it.

afcfee added 08:53 - Apr 28
He didn't pick him last week and dropped him a few weeks back for a period of games so by that logic it's funny why he didn't pick him and he doesn't rate him. Why do you always jump to his defense do you know him?, if you would be happy with him and Chambers at Cb you must be very deluded.

afcfee added 08:54 - Apr 28
Dolphinblue =Skuses wife?

afcfee added 08:56 - Apr 28
Chambers and Skuse both way past at and I think our RELEGATION would disagree with you

Dolphinblue added 08:58 - Apr 28
Never mentioned Chambers....and as for being Skuses wife......a mann can dream 😍😍😍😍😍

Dolphinblue added 09:01 - Apr 28
My Love is like a red red skuse that newly sprung in june
My love is like a melody thats Chambers played in tune
Oh Ipswich my bonnie lass how so in love l am
And l would watch u my love be it 10,000 miles 😍

Northstandveteran added 09:03 - Apr 28
And might I add, excellent to see you posting regularly again Swn98 😁

afcfee added 09:10 - Apr 28
Well considering he's just signed a 2 year deal and he's our captain he's going to play along side him isn't he.

afcfee added 09:10 - Apr 28
As sad as that is.

afcfee added 09:13 - Apr 28
The only question is will the mighty veteran duo carry on together because they're "proper blokes" and will they do a cheeky double next season and drop to league 2

Dolphinblue added 09:38 - Apr 28
I am not Swn98...whoever he/she was......but l would like to meet him he sounds like a Chipper fellow 😋

Northstandveteran added 10:04 - Apr 28
Oh I wasn't referring to you dolphin.

He is much better at winding people up than even your good self 😁

Berts_chin added 10:21 - Apr 28
Have to agree with the consensus that this is the worst Town team in living memory - and I've been a season ticket holder since 1971.
Only positive for me was that in Skuse perhaps we've found half the answer to our central defence problems. I would be reasonably happy to go into next season with a Skuse/Woolfenden pairing (but I fear that PL is not seeing it that way).
I fail to see what Jackson brings to the team. Someone stated that he's the worst striker to wear the shirt, and I struggle to think of anyone poorer. Even Frank Nouble would be a vast improvement. £1.6m seems like extortion, does that make him the most expensive player to come out of league 2? Accrington Stanley are certainly shrewder operators in the transfer market than ME & co., what with £750,000 also going their way for Donacien.

ITFCsince73 added 10:32 - Apr 28
Dolphinblue. Totally agree all managers have stuck with the gruesome twosome.
Now look at the league table, to see where it’s got us.

TraktorBoyz added 11:17 - Apr 28
I think the fact Skuse is being tried in defense speaks volumes about where PL sees him in midfield and frankly it's common knowledge he's gone drastically down hill this year and have looked wide open every game. Him and Chambers at the back would be a nightmare against any sort of pace not to men they can't string 2 passes together. If we going to on top hopefully next season we need CBS who can play out from the back Skuse is definitely not the answer 2 new CBS needed.

ITFCsince73 added 11:41 - Apr 28
Can anyone really imagine Skuse and Chambo playing together in a back 4?
This is things nightmares are made off.
We have a 50/50 chance of a double relegation as it stands.
This will be 100% if the gruesome twosome take their friendly great bloke next door partnership from their £1m houses to our defence.

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