Last updated : 12 August 2009 By BladesMadeditor @ Bramall Lane

The Blades exited the Carling Cup when they fell at the first hurdle versus Port Vale. Marc Richards netted a brace, with his latter goal having an helping hand from Ian Bennett who unfortunately allowed the ball to slide through his hands. Billy Sharp found the onion bag for United.

Despite an overall poor display by Kevin Blackwell's troops, a few players produced quality, but in the end the Valiants pulled off the shock of the night with a 1:2 triumph.

Boss, Blackwell, handed Kyel Reid and Glen Little their debuts, whilst Andy Taylor and Ryan France were awarded home debuts for the Blades. Ian Bennett deputised the ineligible Mark Bunn. Matt Kilgallon was captain for the night, as usual Skipper Chris Morgan settled for a place on the bench.

Billy Sharp had a firm effort at Port Vale's goal but the goalkeeper tipped the ball round the post in the first opening of the game. Glen Little then fired wide of the target. Kyel Reid's drill into the box took a major deflection which sent the ball towards the goal. The goalkeeper had to scramble back across his line to prevent the ball trickling over.

Andy Taylor lost his marker at the wrong time, when a ball was floated in towards the back-post. Loft diverted back across goal towards Richards who calmly tucked away. His celebrations was far from calm as Vale took a surprising lead.

United weren't too despondent and remained upbeat and pressed for a leveller, and they got their just rewards. Billy Sharp swivelled and coolly hit the ball into the goalkeeper's top left-hand corner.

The interval arrived with Micky Adams entering the dressing rooms the happiest out of the two managers. No changes were made by United, nor the Valiants. McCombe cleared over the woodwork to prevent Vale chucking away another goal, and then Martin, the Port Vale shot-stopper, got hands to the ball, although unconvincingly.

Henderson was involved in another Utd attack. The ball managed to get into the box with the front-man poised to poke in, but Owen hurriedly cleared away. Henderson was then substituted shortly after.

United conceded a weak free-kick on the fringe of the penalty area, with Richards eyeing a brace. He curled the ball poorly straight towards Ian Bennett, but it managed to slip through the veteran's hands.

Bennett readjusted himself and saved Owen's nod. Martin then had to tip over a speculative Brian Howard effort, but United fans were getting inpatient as time ticked away.

The 7,000 home faithful then witnessed Bennett drop the ball again, although he escaped another embarrassment when McCombe couldn't turn home. Treacy came on for Little, and Montgomery came on for Quinn. Treacy had a pop at goal, but it was easy for the goalkeeper to save.

Transfer listed Billy Sharp saw his shot take a deflection which looped the ball into the air, it was probably poised to dip in and Martin exquisitely tipped on to the crossbar.

A few corners led to nothing in the three added minutes, and United lost their First Round tie against League Two, Port Vale. 1250024037_spt_ai_sheffieldutdvportvale_17The Blades will need to take a long hard look at themselves, and refresh for Saturday's clash with Watford. Congratulations to Port Vale, and I wish them all the best for the season. The final score from Bramall Lane is, Sheffield United 1:2 Port Vale.

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