Sheffield United vs. Chesterfield
Updated Tuesday, 27th March 2012
Sheffield United host near neighbors Chesterfield in npower League One for the first time since 1989 in tomorrow's crunch match at Bramall Lane in npower League One.
The Blades could however complete the double over the Spirites this season after winning 1-0 at their new B2Net Stadium earlier in the season; a familiar goal scorer with Ched Evans providing the goods.
The two teams were expected to face one another last Saturday but the game was moved to tonight due to our opponents involvement in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. It leaves our impressive 5-2 victory at Nott's County as our last match action before tonight's game.
Blades boss Danny Wilson - who played a century of games for Chesterfield in his playing days was happy with his sides display as they romped to a 4-0 half-time lead with goals from; Stephen Quinn (16 minutes), Ched Evans (22), Matthew Lowton (27) and Neill Collins (45). Alan Judge (77) pulled one back for County but the Magpies were reduced to ten men three minutes later when Neal Bishop received two yellow cards.
A defensive error gifted United to extend their lead; midfielder Lee Williamson finishing coolly to put the game way beyond the Magpies reach. Though they managed a consolation in stoppage time though substitute Julian Kelly (90). The result kept United in second spot and was boosted by the Owls only claiming a 2-2 draw with Walsall - though it could have been all change without a weekend fixture for the Blades.
Blades boss Danny Wilson now has a selection headache ahead of tonights game; Lescinel Jean-Francois (knee) and Chris Morgan (knee) are both absent through injury. Though he is without Nick Montgomery (Millwall), Erik Tonne (York City) and David McAllister (Shrewsbury Town) who are away from the club on loan. Winger Michael O'Halloran, 21 could make his Sheffield United debut after arriving on loan from Bolton Wanderers last week.
Chesterfield went onto become the new name etched onto the Football League Trophy after securing a 2-0 victory over League Two leaders Swindon Town - Oliver Risser (47) put through his own net for the Robins to set the Derbyshire club on their way to victory; former Nottingham Forest striker Craig Westcarr (90) added a second in stoppage time as the Spirites won the trophy for the first time in their history.
A trophy in the cabinet will no doubt give our opposition much confidence coming into this fixture at Bramall Lane, but they have a real fight on their hands in staving off relegation. They currently lay bottom of the League One table (24th) and seven points adrift of the safety zone; three points at the Lane followed by maximum points at home to Scunthorpe United on Saturday would set them on there way to their target but it won't be easy for a struggling side - though to their credit have lost just once in the previous six matches!
They are set to be without former Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest striker Jack Lester who scored in his last visit to Bramall Lane in August 2007; he limped off injured (groin) in the final at Wembley and will be deemed doubtful ahead of tomorrow nights fixture - Craig Westcarr could start in his place.
Meabwhile defender Neil Trotman will return to the side after he missed the final after being cup-tied - on loan players Liam Ridehalgh (Huddersfield Town) and Nicky Ajose (Peterborough United) also didn't feature after representing their parent clubs in a previous round, but could be included in the squad to face the Blades.
Manager John Sheridan will also be boosted by the returns of Gregor Robertson (hamstring), Jimmy Juan (ankle) and Mark Randall (broken hand) who are all pushing for starts after recovering from injury.