Blades fall short of top flight

Last updated : 26 May 2009 By BladesMadeditor @ Wembley

1243271659_spt_ai_burnley_sheffutd_wnsl_13The Clarets are the third and final side to be promoted to the Barclays Premier League when they drifted past Sheffield United at Wembley. Wade Elliott's sweet strike looped into the top of the net with 13 minutes played. The Blades seemingly had two players sent off, Jamie Ward saw yellow twice for two separate handball offences, and then Lee Hendrie at the final whistle received a straight red card for passionate protests towards referee Mike Dean who has sent a total of three Blades players off this season. United had two strong penalty appeals turned down by the Merseyside official who received stick from Kevin Blackwell before the game.

The Clarets will be in the Premier League next season, 1243271734_spt_ai_burnley_sheffieldutd_62whilst the Blades have to visit grounds such as London Road and Glanford Park respectively.

Darius Henderson didn't pass fit after a late fitness test, but Jamie Ward did although he had to settle for a place on the bench. Craig Beattie began the game as the lone striker with Greg Halford and David Cotterill providing him with attacking prowess down the wings.

The players shook hands on red carpet when skipper Chris Morgan introduced the United team to the head of the Football League and the head of Coca Cola in the UK.

Defender Kyle Walker had the first opportunity of the game, his connection didn't trouble Jensen too much. Robbie Blake got in a tangle to give Burnley their first shot on goal, and then at the opposite end of the field Brian Howard's firm strike didn't cause harm to the Burnley backline.

Elliott took advantage of Kyle Naughton's slip-up and the Clarets midfielder swayed in and out of red and white shirts before laying the ball off to McCann but Kilgallon slid in to prevent the ball heading towards goal - unfortunately for the Blades, the ball skidded out to Elliott who sweetly curled the ball past Kenny into the roof of the net to give Owen Coyle's troops the lead.

United continued to press and wanted to get back on level terms. Brian Howard burst into the box and seemed to have his legs clipped by Alexander, but the referee waved away.

Paterson and McCann were denied by long serving Blades midfielder Nick Montgomery, and then the latter Clarets' player was substituted due to an injury.

David Cotterill was robbed of possession and several seconds later Paterson tried a tricky curl into the far corner but Paddy Kenny saw the ball drift wide. United needed composure as Burnley's bombarding attacks were worryingly hurting Kevin Blackwell's men.

Clark Carlisle committed two separate fouls, and was booked for the first. Greg Halford was caught when jumping up for the ball, and then Kyle Naughton was also caught with a follow through from a tackle. The youngster recovered and continued.

The ball fell to Nick Montgomery who was positioned outside the box - he scuffed wide. In the three added minutes, Blake's header trickled wide at the far post whilst Martin Paterson seemed to have handled.

Duff could not double the Lancastrians' lead and maybe should have. Burnley had the chance to seal Premiership status when Paterson's cross was flicked on by Thompson and then Gudjonsson swivelled to poke at goal but Nick Montgomery was on the line to prevent with Paddy Kenny left stranded.

Jamie Ward was thrown into the mix when the unimpressive David Cotterill departed. The Clarets continued to mount the pressure on the Blades - Thompson appeared offside but the linesman gave Burnley the advantage which meant there was only Kenny to beat until Walker magnificently slid in when the ball was laid off to Blake.

United were appealing for a penalty when Walker skipped through into the area until Kalvenes, who didn't play the ball, nudged the youngster to the ground but Dean who has had some flack from the Blades camp this season didn't see one thing wrong.

Ward received a yellow card for handball in the centre of the pitch, and then the frontman was prevented by Jensen from close-range.

Jamie Ward sent off
Ward saw red when he handled again, although perhaps it weren't deliberate. This time in the penalty area when he controlled the ball with his arm. He wasn't too pleased but he had to depart after a brief cameo.

Arturo Lupoli and Lee Hendrie was introduced into the fray. Five added minutes were announced and Kyle Naughton was awarded a free-kick in a good position when Kalvenes barged him to the ground - Greg Halford who didn't make an impact throughout the game hit the ball directly at a defender from the resulting free-kick. Burnley pressed on another counter attack, but Nick Montgomery prevailed. Halford nodded at goal but Jensen calmly collected.

Burnley FC - Play-off winners 08/09
The referee blew his whistle for full-time which drew a curtain on the Coca Cola-Championship Play-off final 2008/2009. Burnley lifted the trophy in the stands and they fully deserve their place in the top flight. United wish them the best in their quest for survival. Not many people have noticed this, but Lee Hendrie saw a straight red card for protesting to the referee after the game. It is back to the drawing board for the Blades - Kevin Blackwell is pondering his future, the parachute payments come to a completion this season and our prize players may well be playing Burnley next season in the top flight. United, still, have never won on neutral ground -The final score from Wembley Stadium is Burnley 1:0 Sheffield United.