Blades Draw At Last!

A superb strike from Chelsea loan man Boga stunned the home fans but after the break United’s domination paid off when predictably Leon Clarke got the leveller. United continued to press but did not create any clear chances to win the game.

Manager Wilder kept faith with the same eleven and substitutes from the defeat in the week; whilst for Birmingham former Blades Adams and Cotterill were only on the bench.

United began well and forced the visitors back with Basham and Stevens well advanced. Birmingham had barely got into the United half in the first 10 minutes and Fleck and Lundstram controlled midfield but they were no clear chances of note.

The first chance did come when good work down the left saw Stevens play in O’Connell whose cross was met by Clarke but under pressure he headed wide. Birmingham had offered little but Jutkiewicz got in and Wright had to make a good block tackle. Back came the home side and Dean blocked from Lundstram who then hit a fierce low shot that Stockdale had to parry away. Clever build up saw Duffy play in Fleck and his cross seemed perfect for Clarke on his favoured left foot but he scuffed wide. It was the best chance of the game.

Sharp then could not get on the end of a deep Basham cross. Three times poor final balls undid United and then Duffy got crowded out. Birmingham had offered little threat going the other way but suddenly they stunned the home side.

Sharp lost the ball leading to a corner being won which Jota took. The ball was cleared but fell to the edge of the box on the right-hand angle. BOGA took a touch and hit a long-range effort that sailed into the net. Blackman got a hand to it but the power beat him. It was reminiscent of the goal Sessegnon scored on Tuesday (higher up) with the lack of challenge from a United player a concern. The sold-out Birmingham fans celebrated wildly at the far end of the ground.

Jutkiewicz then broke soon after and chose to go for goal but Wright made a great block to deny him showing him right before making the challenge. United kept going but no further chances came as they went in behind at the break for the second successive home game.

The second half saw United have most of the ball again but they were again struggling to create. Basham over hit a cross and then Stevens got blocked out. Sharp could not get in after a Fleck shot was blocked and then a nice move saw Stevens cross but Lundstram badly miscued wide.


Wilder decided to change things and Brooks and Carruthers came on for Carter Vickers and Sharp and United had more of a 4-4-2 although Basham and Carruthers seemed to alternate in the right wing back position.

A mix up between Wright and Blackman nearly saw Birmingham in but Jutkiewicz’s shot lacked power and O’Connell cleared after his initial slice had fell to him.

United then went down the other end and scored soon after Brooks through ball led to a cross that was palmed away from Stockdale corner. From the second phase of the set play, O’Connell linked with Clarke and the defender jinked into the box and crossed for Brooks who played the ball back. CLARKE took a touch and steadied himself before hitting a low right foot shot into the bottom corner past the stationery Stockdale who had no chance. The striker ran away to celebrate in front of the Kop; to acclaim his 9th goal in 4 games.

Duffy was more influential this half and his clever play nearly saw Stevens in before Clarke had a shot blocked as he looked for a winner.

Former Blade Adams came on for Boga who limped off and nearly got in but was his cross shot was held by Blackman as Wright did well to limit the chance. O’Connell fired over badly and Carruthers had a shot blocked.

Four minutes of stoppage time were to be played and most of it was played in Birmingham’s half but other than a moment when brooks got crowded out; they did not create anything of note and the game ended all square.