Blades Lose By Rule of SOD

Last updated : 17 April 2011 By @blades_mad1889

GOAL: Nathan Ellington kills the game at 3-1.The Blades game with North End yesterday was governed by the rule of ‘SOD’ – It was typical that as a team foot of the table struggled to win the matches despite laying on the best opportunities throughout the game.

Newspaper reports and scores will all say the same; Preston North End 3-1 Sheffield United but it was the travelling Blades who should have got more than their monies worth.

Blades boss Micky Adams made several changes for the trip to Deepdale; he included youngsters Harry Maguire and Jordan Slew, giving them both a starting role whilst Matt Harriott (unused) and Danny Philliskirk (on-loan from Chelsea) were included on the substitute’s bench.

He also included Lee Williamson who returned from a four match ban and Irish midfielder David McAllister in reserve.

The first half in particular wasn’t very interesting from a spectator’s point of view with an eager to impress Slew testing keeper Iain Turner on the few odd occasions whilst at the other end Preston came very close when Chris Brown beat off his marker (Collins!) to slide the ball into the side of the net – on another day he’d have hit the glory hole.

In the second half the game lived up as both sides thought for their lives against relegation, with Palace losing 1-0 at half-time three points would go a long way to securing Championship football next season.

United went very close to opening the game up; the impressive Slew worked well down the left hand side, making his way into the box and squaring for Bjorn Helge Riise – Turner was left stranded as the Norwegian had a gapping open net just waiting to be busted in front of the travelling fans, but from two yards out his shot flew up and smacked the upright, how could he miss, we all asked?

But that is exactly what he did, a missed opportunity which was to prove costly for United, there is no doubt that it was a game changing opportunity, but how much exactly we will never know. Preston then took the lead through fortune and terrible defending, Treacy, against his former club struck a low shot which evaded the defence and Steve Simonsen to tuck into the corner and hand the hosts the lead ten minutes into the second half.

Midfielder Stephen Quinn had a good shout for a PENALTY! When he was hacked down in the box, the referee; Mr. Tanner stopped play and wrongfully booked Quinn for diving.

From then on the Lilywhites grew in confidence and on 68 minutes doubled their lead when Treacy again tip toed into the box before unleashing a powerful right foot shot into the far bottom corner.

United looked dead and buried but again squandered opportunities to get into the game, then a life line came when young Jordan Slew, just 18 years of age shot from the edge of the area, his initial shot blocked but was able to re-collect the ball and fire low into the bottom right hand corner; 2-1!

If only Riise handed missed, it would have been 2-2 we moaned but there was to be further missed chances when a mix up in the box allowed Darius Henderson to produce a snap shot from 8 yards out, beating Turner in the North End goal but the ball bounced off the post across the goal line and out for a goal kick, again on another day it would have nestled coolly into the bottom corner.

The visitors huffed and puffed as they attempted to take a point from the game but were caught out on the break with Hume chasing up field along with a strong attack of two more team mates and only Maguire left to defend; at the right moment he pushed through Nathan Ellington who fired past Simonsen to seal the victory.

It was a devastating blow for United who still tried to reduce the score line during the final moments but the game had already been lost, had missed opportunities gone in then the game could have been entirely different.

Of course, in every game played there has to be positives and it was good to see Harry Maguire and Jordan Slew play well in their first starting roles; they may be ‘the future’ in our League One campaign as whilst the Blades aren’t relegated yet they are banging hard on the trap door.

A defeat for Palace (1-2) at home to Scunthorpe will have given Mr. Browns Boys all the reason to look confident and hopeful in their quest in preserving Championship football  but this is where the hard task lays as they face four tough opponents in; Millwall (a), Cardiff City (h), Ipswich Town (h) and lastly Watford (h).

It is no sour grapes, I wish them well in their plight but I firmly believe that they will join United in third tier football next season. Though the Blades can still mathematically save themselves but that would mean winning their last four fixtures and whilst it would be a dream come true with missed chances which were on display at Deepdale it’s difficult to see light at the end of the tunnel.