Season review - November

Last updated : 08 June 2009 By Bladesmadeditor

November's results:

Sheffield United 2:0 Plymouth Argyle
Barnsley 1:2 Sheffield United
Sheffield United
0:2 Reading
Charlton Athletic 2:5 Sheffield United
Sheffield United 1:3 Wolves
Ipswich Town 1:1 Sheffield United

The Blades were pleasingly occupying the final spot in the play-offs going into Novemeber. A dominant showing agains1227981971_spt_ai_ipswichvsheffutd_19t an average Plymouth side earned United maximum points in the month's opener. James Beattie's double continued the unbeaten home run - his first a terrifically dispatched penalty shortly after the second half, and then eight minutes later he thunderbolted a free-kick past Larrieu in front of the travelling faithful.

The third and final South Yorkshire away game of the season came already when Kevin Blackwell's men made the short trip up the M1 to Barnsley. The game at Oakwell was nothing short of incidents and a few goals. The scoreline was opened 20 minutes in after Danny Webber's cross was converted by James Beattie from close-range. Nine minutes later, Ugo Ehiogu and Anderson De Silva were both given an early bath when head butts and tussles occurred. Iain Hume was replaced shortly after the two red cards when he was on the receiving end of a Chris Morgan leap. Former Blade Rob Kozluk handled inside the area when the ball dipped from the heavens, the linesman waved his flag to indicate a spot-kick straight away. Tykes gaffer Simon Davey was furious about the decision to award United a penalty, and he was later sent to the stands by the referee, Andy D'Urso. James Beattie got his second brace in two games when Muller had no chance in saving his hammering penalty. Kayode Odejayi made things interesting when he pulled one back with three minutes of normal time remaining. The Blades held on in a controversial South Yorkshire Derby.

The Bramall Lane outfit saw Reading overturn them on their own patch by two goals to nil. Kalifa Cisse's effort smashed the back of the net just five minutes in, and then front-man Kevin Doyle doubled the Royal's lead on the stroke of half-time. It was the red and white wizard's first defeat on home soil since Charlton Athletic matched a same scoreline in March the previous season.

It was the Addicks who the Blades faced next at The Valley. The travelling contingent weren't disappointed when they saw a seven-goal-thriller. James Beattie hammered United in front after seven minutes. He connected to Halford's lay-off to smash home in front of the away fans. Greg Halford magnificently attempted a 40-yard-lob when he spotted Weaver off his line - the ball dipped and curled but it unluckily clipped the bottom of the crossbar and bounced on the line. Linvoy Primus capitalised on poor marking from the S2 side - he nodded in whilst being unmarked to bring it back to level terms. Gary Speed flicked the Blades back into the lead just before the half-hour mark, and then Matt Kilgallon's delicate lob made it three before half-time. It was then 1:4 when Kelly Youga put the ball into his own net, and United's final goal in the feast was an exquisite first-time volley from Stephen Quinn. Hammuer Bouazza smashed in Charlton's second and there was no way an incredible comeback was on the cards. It finished 2:5.

Over 26,000 Unitedites saw fighting spirit but a disappointing 1:3 loss to eventual champions Wolves. Chris Iwelumo converted with five minutes gone from an incredibly tight angle. He netted his second and Wolves' second of the game in the second-half, he sweetly struck the ball into Paddy Kenny's top-corner. Ebanks-Blake sealed the win four minutes later with a bolt into the bottom-corner. Matthew Spring pulled one back when his drill hit the post and bounced into the net. In the earlier stages of the second half, Brian Howard's corner seemed to have snuck over the line but the linesman had none of it and play continued.

It was a tale of two spot-kicks at Portman Road. The same linesman awarded both penalties, first Ipswich's when Matt Kilgallon used his arm in the area, Tommy Miller converted. James Beattie provided validity like always and dispatched bang on the 90th minute mark after former Blade Alan Quinn also used his arms in the box.