Preview: Sheffield United vs. Scunthorpe United
Updated Wednesday, 29th February 2012
Sheffield United host fellow League One side Scunthorpe United just four days after the Steel City Derby defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
Rotherham United striker Chris O'Grady heading home in the 79th minute in what was only the second time the two clubs had met at this level. They now face Scunthorpe United at Bramall Lane after it's initial game was postponed due to FA Cup involvement.
Earlier in the season Sheffield United went top of the table on 9th September following an epic 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe United, a point maybe shouldn’t be so spirited but after falling fowl at Glanford Park in recent years, but it was a pleasure to see United gain something there for a change. It was a lackluster first half on the Blades part with the Iron firstly being reduced to ten men when striker Andy Barcham was dismissed for a reckless challenge on Michael Doyle (25 minutes). Shortly before the break the home side took the lead – Chris Dagnall (41) fired the Iron home.
After a poor first half the visitors reshaped and came back, Ched Evans had replaced Chris Porter on 64 minutes and eight minutes later a over head volley from Evans had swung into the back of the net to draw level. Late on United looked to win the game when Stephen Quinn stuck the underside of the bar and looked goal bound but the Iron defence somehow swept away.
Since that draw at Glanford Park the Blades have gone from strength to strength with Welsh international Evans notching a total of 21 goals to date in all competitions. United will be without midfielder Kevin McDonald (hamstring) who is considered as doubtful.
Blades boss Danny Wilson is likely to include former Iron's Marcus Williams, but Kevin McDonald is listed as doubtful. Williams, 25 came through the youth ranks at Glanford Park - making his debut as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Yeovil Town in March 2004. He stayed with the Iron until July 2010; yo-yoing between Divisions League One and Championship during this period, moving to Reading on a free transfer after starting 179 (+17) games for the club without scoring a single goal.
McDonald, 23 made five appearances (two as a substitute) for the Iron whilst on loan from Burnley last season. He made his debut in a 2-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough and scored in his second despite a Cardiff City defeat (2-4), his further games also included defeats to: Derby County (2-3), Coventry City (0-2) and in his final game a 3-0 defeat at Millwall.
Scunthorpe United currently lay 20th in the League One table, occupying the last relegation spot following a 0-0 draw at home to Brentford last Saturday - they have surprisingly struggling this term and face a threat of possible relegation to the basement of the Football League. Two league dismissals in a row would spell disaster for the club.
Wolverhampton Wanderers youngster Jamie Reckford's loan spell at the Iron has been extended until they face Chesterfield on 31 March. The left full-back has made four appearances to date and has made the spot his own. Meanwhile midfielder Jimmy Ryan could be in contention after recovering from a knee ligaments injury.
They are without midfielder Michael Collins (Achilles), as well as forwards Connor Jennings (foot) and Matt Godden (hip) are sidelined through injuury. Much traveled striker Jon Parkin - formally with Barnsley and currently on loan from Carling Cup finalists Cardiff City is set to start.