Blades Foils The Royals
Report of match Reading 1 Sheffield United 3 played 22nd August 2009
Sheffield United came from a goal down at Reading to claim a 3-1 victory as the Blades slipped up to fourth in the Championship table.
United came to the Madejski Stadium with just one change from the team which drew 1-1 with Leicester City in midweek; Brian Howard who is suffering through illness (tonsillitis) was replaced by a resurgent Stephen Quinn whom has been under some criticism in recent games after poor performances.
It was Reading who got off the starting blocks first when defender Matt Mills netted his first goal for his new club since his summer £2,000,000 move from Doncaster Rovers; he glanced home unmarked on 13 minutes after Gylfi Sigurdsson lofted a free-kick into the box.
This goal by the Royals was also there first goal of the season and looked strong in the first half as the visitors majority long ball tactics failed to pay dividends, and when they did get the ball on the ground the ball fell into the back of the net.
Winger Keith Treacy was substituted after the player hobbled off the field, he was replaced by Welsh international David Cotterill.
But prior to this the home side where in full domination and at times looked like adding to their lead; captain Chris Morgan was booked for a challenge on a tough tackle on Ryan Bertrand!
However United kept out the pressure of the Royals and surprisingly were the next team to score two minutes before half time; a cross from Andy Taylor fell to Ched Evans on the far post, he flashed across goal for an unmarked Stephen Quinn to tap home.
In the second half the visitors pulled out all the stops and dominated as the Biscuit Men fell to pieces, and the ball found the net yet again when a far post header from Darius Henderson bulged the goal; but the former Royal was to be denied a goal against his former club when he was deemed to be infringing his opponent.
A howler from Reading keeper Adam Federici allowed the Blades to take the lead on 62 minutes when pint sized striker Jamie Ward ran with the ball down the middle, in space he struck at goal from 25 yards out - his shot looked to be covered by Australian international shot stopper but somehow allowed the ball to shoot off his body and flashed into the net.
The teams seemed pretty even, with the home side failing to penetrate the opposition goal - David Cotterill who's tackling ability was best described by BBC Sheffield commentary analysis Keith Edwards 'He couldn't tackle a fish supper,' and after his third miss challenge was handed a yellow card.
As the ninety minutes approached and the board to add an extra four minutes was announced the Blades struck the final blow; a Alex Pearce header fell to Cotterill who glanced at goal and smoothly fired the ball into the top corner with Federici rooted to the spot.
|Competition: Coca-Cola Championship Date: Saturday, 22nd August 2009 Kick off: 15:00 Venue: Madejski Stadium|
|1 - 3||Sheff. Utd.
|24||Ryan Bertrand (Harper 88)|
|4||Khalifa Cissť (Davies 66)|
|10||Noel Hunt (Church 75)|
|15||James Harper (Bertrand 88)|
|27||Scott Davies (Cissť 66)|
|18||Simon Church (Hunt 75)|
|27||Keith Treacy (Cotterill 26)|
|9||Ched Evans (France 85)|
|2||Ryan France (Evans 85)|
|11||David Cotterill (Treacy 26)|
|Reading cards shown|
|Sheff. Utd. cards shown|
|29 mins||Chris Morgan||Unsporting behaviour|
|65 mins||David Cotterill||Unsporting behaviour|