3 points thrown away
Updated Saturday, 3rd March 2012
Being 2:0 up at home at half-time against an injury-ravaged Oldham side looks rosy, but United's lead was somehow diminished in the second-half...
United were absolutely cruising in the first-half, but in the 65th minute the game was turned on its head by outrageous refereeing decisions and naivety from the men in red and white stripes.
Goals from Matt Lowton and Ched Evans put the Blades 2:0 up, but there was a sour note in the first-half when Lescinel Jean Francois had to be stretchered off the field of play with a nasty looking injury.
Michael Doyle struck the base of the post early in the second-half, but Oldham got what seemed to be a consolation goal when Richard Cresswell put it into his own net.
Matt Lowton was then outrageously booked by the referee for "unsporting behaviour", although I don't see what the problem is when you're retrieving the ball back to the centre-spot for the restart.
Lowton then did something quite daft and got himself sent-off. A needless lunge on Tarkowski left the referee with no option but to send the right-back off.
Oldham equalised with a superb curling effort into the far corner from Lee to make it 2:2, something which nobody out of the 17,267 crowd could foresee.
It all went from bad to worse for the Blades when Maguire brought down Reid and was also given his marching orders after being adjudged as the last man back by the referee; Shefki Kuqi did the honours to give Oldham an unforseeable and extremely astonishing victory.
We all know how incompetent the referee was, but we also have to blame ourselves for totally taking our foot of the pedal in the second-half.
Even Oldham's fans will be astonished how they've won that. They had one chance in the first-half before scoring their first goal and they hardly troubled us until the calamity kicked in.
Huddersfield, Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons could only manage draws so the gap is only reduced by a point, but the table could have been looking so much better if the second-half wasn't such a shambles.
The defensive line-up on Tuesday night will be interesting. No Lowton, no Maguire, no Francois, and possibly no Collins, no Williams and no Taylor.
The alarm bells aren't ringing, but I just so hope we don't chuck everything away which we've built upon all season. Let's stay strong!