Sheffield United claimed three points in a vital clash against promotion rivals Bolton Wanderers and extended their lead at the top of League One.
Extra competitiveness was added to the game during the build-up as Bolton striker Gary Madine was subject to a viral video on social media with the former Sheffield Wednesday player sending abuse to Blades captain Billy Sharp. Meanwhile, the Trotters fans were left angered after Sheffield United decreased their ticket allocation to sell to the home supporters.
The fixture was sure to be eventful as soon as Premier League referee Mike Dean blew his whistle at 3pm but there was an early shock as Madine was left out of the Bolton squad completely.
— Bran The Blade⚔ (@SufcBran) February 25, 2017
Nevertheless, Madine still travelled to Sheffield and the Blades tried to make his entrance as discomforting as possible.
Boo's for Madine as the Bolton bus gets egg'd pic.twitter.com/qzs7iMlJYw
— Pete. (@senlacblade) February 25, 2017
With just 12 minutes on the clock and a packed crowd still settling into their seats, John Fleck found the League One top goalscorer Billy Sharp to fire the Blades in front.
— Blades Mad (@Blades_Mad) February 25, 2017
— Joe Riley (@joeriley49) February 25, 2017
— Sam Cunliffe (@samcunliffe) February 25, 2017
The first-half was tight and both sides fought well but, following the interval, Sheffield United emerged from the tunnel and dominated their opponents. The South Yorkshire club didn’t allow their opponents any time on the ball and had numerous chances to extend their lead. In the 70th minute, Chris Wilder’s side won a penalty. There was only one man who was going to step up:
— Liam♦️ (@fxckwoodeh) February 25, 2017
— some dickhead (@brinnyblade90) February 26, 2017
Sheffield United won the game 2-0 and will leave Bramall Lane with various positives. Bolton did not look a team worth worrying about. The home side worked much harder than Phil Parkinson’s side, who had just one shot on target and drop to fourth place. The South Yorkshire club can also be encouraged by the performance of substitute Samir Carruthers, who dazzled the huge 27,000 in attendance with a couple of bursts from midfield.
The Blades ensured Gary Madine regretted his words after his opponents gained revenge yesterday and threw a few digs at the travelling supporters:
— some dickhead (@brinnyblade90) February 25, 2017
— My UTD (@UtdFirst) February 25, 2017
— steven abrahams (@stevenabrahams1) February 24, 2017
— David Huntington (@dhunts0102) February 25, 2017
Following Scunthorpe United’s draw with Bristol Rovers, the Blades are now seven points clear at the top of League One. With 12 games left to play, the promotion battle is in their hands.
Sheffield United’s promotion charge is in full speed.
— Newcastle Blades⚔️ (@Tyneside_Blades) February 25, 2017
— Paddy (@paddy_blades) February 26, 2017
— David Kirkham (@DavidKirkham3) February 26, 2017