474 spectators turned out to witness this friendly fixture between Scottish First Division side Cowdenbeath, nicknamed the Blue Brazil and League One outfit Sheffield United and Porter’s goal for the Blades was his second successive goal in as many matches after firing the winner against Greenock Morton last Wednesday night.
New boss David Weir again opted to field two different sides (one in each half), but of the trialists which featured at Morton – only New Caledonian man Roy Kayara featured. Porter’s goal came on the edge of half-time after he knocked home following Harry Maguire’s header but the Scots hit back and levelled through Jordan Morton.
Mark Howard was again given first opportunity in goal, opting to rest George Long with George Willis coming on in the second half. Febian Brandy and Sean McGinty started the match for the first time, whilst Cowdenbeath boss Colin Cameron (ex-Wolves) fielded three trialists.
Early doors, the Blades were forced into a change when Captain Michael Doyle was injured on 12 minutes and was replaced by Academy player Smith. During the first half of play United created little chances but held much possession with Jamie Murphy and Elliott Whitehouse soaking up most of the play. Of what chances came United’s way, Maguire saw his long-range effort blocked and McDonald, not the prolific of scorers, missed his opportunity when his shot bobbled into the keepers hands.
Just before the break the game livened up with the hosts coming close four minutes before the referees whistle and looked certain to take the lead when McKenzie slot past Howard from the edge of the box but fired agonizingly wide of goal. On 44 minutes Smith bust a lung to fly through their defence, his shot was deflected wide but from the resulting corner United took the lead, the home side half cleared Murphy’s corner but retrieved to re-deliver and the net was bulging when Maguire’s header was touched home by former Motherwell striker Chris Porter, 0-1.
At the break Weir made wholesale changes to the squad, changing ten of players with only Smith remaining, veteran Richard Cresswell was also added to the squad. In the opening exchanges of the second 45 minutes McGinn fired over the top and Joe Ironside came close to netting with a header.
Ironside was in the thick of it again when, in as many minutes he was denied twice by the keeper – first with his left foot and then swiftly with his right but couldn’t double the Blades lead. But, on 64 minutes the home side levelled in spectacular fashion – Morton produced a long range effort which evaded keeper Willis as it sneaked into the corner, 1-1.
Changes fell to United in the remaining 25 minutes to follow but neither one of them could be converted into points, McFadzean scuffed his shot after being set-up by McGinn but at the other end Russell had a chance to win it for the home side but he too failed in his plight.
First Half: Howard, Westlake, Maguire, Higginbotham, McGinty, Whitehouse, McDonald, Doyle (Smith 12), Brandy, Murphy, Porter.
Second Half: Willis, Hodder, Collins, Hill, Williams, Smith (Whitehouse 65), McGinn, McFadzean, Ironside, Cresswell, Kayara.