United have recorded a victory against Greenock Morton (1-0) and a draw against Cowdenbeath (1-1) during the Blades ten day tour of Scotland and capped the tour off with a 2-1 win over Raith, both goals netted by Scottish nationals Kevin McDonald and Jamie Murphy in front of a 1,054 crowd, the highest recorded during these highland games.
This was the fourth time in the clubs history that these two sides had met all friendly fixtures (1895, 1982 and 1999). Blades boss David Weir again played the rule on trialist Roy Kayara (from New Caledonia) who appeared as a second half substitute.
The game finally got off to a start following a 15 minute delay due to travel concerns in the local area but this didn’t worry United who were the first to take action – Murphy unleashed a 30 yard shot who was kept away by keeper Laidlaw and Rovers first attempt on goal saw Howard comfortably collect Elliot’s shot.
On 13 minutes the hosts took the game to the tourists and earned an assailable lead; Marcus Williams saw his appeals for offside ruled away as Elliot was allowed to find space in the box and cut back for SPENCE who found the net.
The Blades were seeing majority of the procession, as they did in their previous fixtures against Morton and Cowdenbeath, forming patient attacking. On 28 minutes the Blades were level when McDONALD formatted the move which lead to the goal; his pass found McFadzean and after a return the former Burnley man was well placed to slot home.
Six minutes later the visitors were ahead through another Scotsman, MURPHY, a January signing from Motherwell saw an opportunity open up in front of goal and his curling shot evaded the keeper and swung beautifully into the net from the edge of the box; 2-1.
Unlike in previous games Weir opted to start the second half with the team that started the first and opted to being on substitutes later on with only keeper George Willis being an unused sub as Mark Howard played out his first 90 minutes of football for almost 10 months.
Porter, who failed to get on the score sheet for a third successive time clipped wide and Maguire, supplied the pass. A number of substitutions following and included a new back line of defence whilst trialist Kayara replaced McGinn. On 73 minutes the New Caledonian man shot over the bar and Febian Brandy sliced his effort wide.
The opposition twice masterfully conjured attempts to levelling, Callachan’s long-range was headed off the line by Matt Hill before Howard saved Smith’s rebound effort. In the latter stages neither side managed to come close as the game ended in a positive result for United and return to Sheffield with two wins and a draw from the three matches played in Scotland.
Sheffield United: Howard, Westlake (Hodder 63), Williams (McGinty 63), Collins (Hill 63), Maguire (Higginbotham 63), Doyle (Whitehouse 52), Porter (Ironside 52), Murphy, McFadzean (Brandy 56), McGinn (Kayara 60), McDonald (Smith 60). Unused: Willis.