Greenock Morton 0-1 Sheffield United

Last updated : 04 July 2013 By @blades_mad1889

United played experimental sides, fielding a different eleven in each side of the match which saw Blades boss David Weir field three trialists and was a welcome return for keeper Mark Howard who returned from a long stay of injury.

Danny Grainger, a full-back who has recently been released by Hearts of Midlothian, Steven Saunders who is also out of contract at Stuart McCall’s Motherwell and a lesser known player, Roy Kayara from New Caledonia where all given a trial run-out in the hope that they can secure a contract with the S2 side. Meanwhile Morton themselves fielded no less than eight trialists amongst there squad.

Weir has already acquired four new signings and of the new recruits only Stephen McGinn started the match and played in the first 45 minutes, however Sean McGinty and Febian Brandy got there chance in the second – Jasper Johns didn’t feature.

United were in at their opponents from the off and within the first 15 minutes had won four corners but failed to find that magic sparkle in attack and rarely formed any formidable clear cut chances. At the other end, one of their trialists headed over the bar from a corner and Kevin McDonald saw his effort on 37 minutes turned onto the post by keeper Caraux.

In the second half boss Weir dispatched a completely different set of 11 players with only McFadzean returning late on as a substitute towards the end of the match. George Willis, another promising youngster from the Academy was given a run out in goal, whilst Eliott Whitehouse was also given an opportunity.

Within the first few minutes of the second 45 the Blades created chances and it was in this period where United netted the only goal of the match, but it had to come from the penalty spot. Inside two minutes McGinty curled into the side netting and Kayara’s saw his long range effort fire off target.

The first clear cut chance fell on the hour mark, Kayara flicked over the Morton defence and Chris Porter saw his shot turned round the post by the Greenock stopper. Three good chances fell in the way of the hosts within 90 seconds, Saunders kept out Wallace and O’Brien saw his shot tipped over the bar by Willis.

Soon afterwards the Blades goal came, on 69th minute, Febrian Brandy was fouled in the box by one of their trialists and Porter duly took all responsibility and slotted the ball home – hew could become the clubs new spot kick taker next season. A moment later Willis kept the visitors in the game when kept out an effort and Saunders forced the home stopper into a save.

United kept most of the possession in the final ten minutes and thus retained their lead, Neill Collins made an important block and Willis kept out again before the final whistle was blown and Sheffield United won their first game on this three game tour of Scotland which was witnessed by 709 spectators.

Sheffield United (1st Half): Howard, Westlake, Williams, Maguire, Hill, Doyle, McGinn, McFadzean, McDonald, Cresswell, Ironside.

Sheffield United (2nd Half): Willis, Saunders, Grainger, Collins, Higginbotham, Whitehouse, McGinty, Murphy, Brandy (McFadzean 82), Kayara, Porter.