Sheffield United maintained their place in the play-offs thanks to a Jose Baxter penalty as Port Vale’s Michael Brown is sent off for the 8th time in his career.

Referee Jeremy Simpson deemed that Michael O’Connor’s challenge on Jamie Murphy warranted a penalty.  The pair were jostling for position as a high ball came down when Murphy went to ground. Jose Baxter drove the penalty high into the net, behind which the disgruntled Vale faithful voiced their disapproval.

Former Sheffield United captain, Robert Page, made a double substitution at half-time which sparked an increased threat from Port Vale. Despite their possession, Vale failed to carve out any significant opportunities in the second period.  Michael Brown, once a hero at Bramall Lane was dismissed in the 90th minute for a second bookable offence.

Sheffield United

Mark Howard Rarely troubled.  Question marks over a possible handball after sliding outside his box to thwart an attack. 7.0
Kieron Freeman Had a golden opportunity to shoot from close range in the second half. He chose to pass instead and failed to find his man. 6.5
John Brayford Solid game for the out of position centre-half.  Good in the air and distributed the ball well. 7.5
Chris Basham Dominant in the in the air, dependable on the deck. 7.5
Bob Harris Plenty of endeavour. Too many passes and crosses failing to find a fellow Blade. 5.5
Matt Done Lots of energy.  The striker can be peripheral when played on the right. 6.5
Jose Baxter Notched the winner from the spot.  Inconsistent long passes throughout. 6.0
Jason Holt A workmanlike performance.  Often chooses the simplest pass. 6.5
Jamie Murphy Wonderful pitch-length run in the closing stages. 7.0
Paul Coutts Steady performance from a defensive minded midfielder 6.5
Steven Davies Superb hold-up play.  Strayed offside for a disallowed goal. 8.0

Substitutions

Ryan Flynn Involved in multiple attacks, including a sublime turn on the edge of the box. 7.5
Michael Doyle Brought on to preserve the lead. 6.5
Craig Alcock 92nd minute substitute. N/A

Port Vale

Chris Neal Dealt comfortably with United’s shots from distance. 7.0
Ryan McGivern  Feisty challenges.  Some perfectly timed, others contributed to a booking. 7.0
Chris Robertson Had a header on target in the first half.  Despite his aerial ability, he struggled to cope with the strength of Davies. 7.0
Freddie Veseli Comfortable on the ball in tight situations. 7.5
Adam Yates Tries to keep things simple.  Failed to beat the first man with his crosses. 6.0
Michael Brown Sent off for a 2nd bookable offence.  Could have gone earlier when he man-handled the referee. 5.0
Michael O’Connor His challenge on Jamie Murphy resulted in the penalty. 5.5
Mark Marshall Played on both flanks, crossed with either foot.  Potential unfulfilled today. 6.0
Louis Dodds Involved in most attacks. 7.0
Byron Moore Replaced at half-time.  One good run that forced a foul. 5.5
Ben Williamson Anonymous as the lone striker.  Hooked off at half-time. 5.0

Substitutions

Tom Pope Had some success in the air. No opportunities to score. 7.0
Colin Daniel Speedy when tracking back.  Crosses inaccurate. 6.5
Achille Campion Caught in possession in his own half. 6.0

Man of the Match

Steven Davies Superb strength and touch when dealing with long balls. 8.0

 Highlights


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