Nigel Clough’s Sheffield United clinched a 1-0 victory over relegation battlers Carlisle United, to build their nine game winning run, to ten.
A game of few chances was presented by both teams in the first ten minutes, but then the home side got going. Clever football led to chances for Jose Baxter and Stefan Scougall, but both saw either their efforts saved, or go wide.
However, it wasn’t long until the deadlock was finally broken. Bright, possessive football led to the ball being at Conor Coady’s feet. Coady, who is on loan from Liverpool, played a powerful pass to Jose Baxter. Baxter then controlled the ball with a touch of magic, cut inside from the left hand side of the penalty area, and curled the ball smartly past Carlisle keeper Pickford, just enough so that he couldn’t get his fingertips on it.
And with that, the first half just seemed to fade out, with nothing else to show.
With the first half belonging to the hosts, could Carlisle capitalise on a Sheffield United team that have had a lot of games in the recent weeks?
In the end, no, they couldn’t. But, Graham Kavanagh’s side pressed the home side, but just couldn’t punish the home team. Dangerous balls were whipped in from the flanks, but to no avail.
The final whistle sounded, and the win lifts the Blades up to 10th in the league. However, the loss for the away side leaves them in 19th; only one point above the drop zone.
|Mark Howard – Never properly tested throughout, but commanded his area well.||7.0|
|Ben Davies – Played well and defended solidly. Booked for a silly challenge.||7.0|
|Harry Maguire – Another solid performance from the youngster. Looked dangerous going forward.||8.0|
|Neill Collins – Might as well have won every header that came his way. Solid.||8.0|
|Bob Harris – Very impressive. Showed his class. Helped keep a clean sheet.||8.0|
|Ryan Flynn – Looked lively but seemed a bit fatigued some of the time from Sunday. Subbed.||7.5|
|Michael Doyle – Held play up well and spread it cleverly. Solid performance.||7.5|
|Conor Coady – Assisted the only goal. Put himself about the pitch.||7.5|
|Jamie Murphy – Played pretty well, but it sensed it just wasn’t his night.||7.0|
|Stefan Scouagall – Charged down very well. Showed a lot of commitment. Subbed.||8.0|
|Jose Baxter – Scored a neat goal. Seemed more in it tonight than he has in recent weeks. Subbed.||7.5|
|Chris Porter – Wasn’t on for long, but charged down pretty well.||6.5|
|Kieron Freeman – Didn’t get much of the ball. But some of his passes showed class.||6.0|
|Stephen McGinn – Played some nice passes. Looked up for it.||7.0|
|Jordan Pickford – Conceded a goal. But didn’t have much to do in the second half.||7.0|
|Reece Brown – At fault for the goal. Got in the way of dangerous balls though.||7.0|
|Pascal Chimbonda – Strong at the majority of times. Seemed reasonably calm throughout.||7.0|
|Chris Chantler – Spread play well. Flynn broke him down pretty easily at times. Subbed.||6.5|
|James Pearson – Spread play well on occasions. Couldn’t handle the pace sometimes.||7.0|
|Brad Potts – Showed ideas, but lacked the execution.||7.0|
|James Berrett – Didn’t do much in the first half. Picked up in the second. Comfortable with the ball.||7.0|
|Liam Noble – Some passes lacked execution. Injured and subbed.||6.0|
|David Amoo – Strong against Murphy when he tracked back. Wanted the ball. Showed desire.||8.0|
|Lee Miller – Didn’t look the best player, but put the effort in and tried to help his team.||7.0|
|Sam Byrne – Ran his ground well. Looked pretty lively. Subbed.||7.5|
|David Symington – Played okay when he came on. Nothing worthy of note.||6.0|
|Nacho Novo – Nothing worthy of note. Looked a good team player.||6.0|
|Patrick Brough – Tried hard but nothing really came off.||6.0|
Man of the Match
|Bob Harris – Put himself all over the pitch. Never stopped running, and looked really into it.||8.0|