Blades Sink At City
Report of match Bristol City 2 Sheffield United 0 played 6th October 2007
Sheffield United succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at Bristol City yesterday in front of the Sky camera's to continue their pitiful form away from home.
The Blades have picked up just one point away from home all season - a 2-2 draw at Blackpool and have yet to record a victory since December 2006 when a single Rob Hulse strike was enough to ensure all three points at Wigan Athletic during their Premiership campaign.
Fans thought that the one-up-front tactic which was thrown upon the United faithful last season was a bad move under Neil Warnock - the clueless formations embarked under the new regime of Bryan Robson doesn't favour either with the masses.
It's predominantly out of character for me to slate the team and its management but for a fan who spent around £50.00 to watch the Blades at Bristol too few can argue against the fans who were deeply saddened by that terrible display.
The majority of the fans would like to see Robson in the dole queue on Monday morning whilst the minority would rather give him a bit more time - I myself am 50/50, I'm not sure what advantage it would be to search for a new manager whilst the transfer window is closed.
United went into the game without key players; Keith Gillespie, Derek Geary and Nick Montgomery who are were all sidelined by injury, and they got off to a fairly decent start and almost took the lead early doors.
However, in truth it was the Robins who where the better side out of the 90 minutes despite dominating in patches, and they were rewarded with their goal close to half time when a mistake by club captain Chris Morgan allowed Noble to take full advantage before setting up Michael McIndoe in the second half to complete the rout.
And with Noble's work complete he was taken off, he had originally been brought into the side to replace Lee Trundle - he cost the Ashton Gate club £1,000,000 from Swansea City who was dropped after netted twice in ten games.
At times it was clear that Nobel was a little short of match fitness in his first appearance of the campaign but timed his run to a tee when Morgan misplaced his back header to keeper Paddy Kenny for Noble to nip in and chip over the stranded Kenny after Lee Johnson had put the ball through.
Bradley Orr, the Robins right-back was in full control of defence and could have found himself on the score sheet too - on 16th minute the home side where given a corner but his header was pushed away by onto the bar by Kenny.
When it came, the goal was richly deserved by City but the Blades hit back and looked to have levelled the score when Alan Quinn went chasing through to produce a goal-bound strike - the fans cheered as the ball looked to hit the back of the net, it didn't and rebounded off the post with no yellow shirt in sight to tap home.
The Blades could have gone a goal up as little as the first minute when a Alan Quinn cross cannoned off skipper Louis Carey which was dramatically turned away by keeper Basso; Lee Hendrie picked up a knock which forced him to be substituted - but in all the Blades build up play wasn't brilliant with danger man James Beattie seeing too few opportunities to add to his eight goals tally.
In the second half United tried to turn it around and almost did when David Carney's powerful shot but like the Australian's at rugby the shot turned out second best as Basso turned it out for a corner; whilst Chris Lucketti got his header to the corner only to see it scrape the post.
But with twenty minutes remaining the game was over when the mysterious Mark Noble crossed on the right hand flank to see his cross headed home by an unmarked former Doncaster Rovers and Barnsley midfielder Michael McIndoe; 2-0.
In desperation Robson threw on Luton Shelton and went with a three pronged attack with Beattie and Jonathan Stead upfront but the style of play didn't match the Jamaicans as he proved powerless to make a difference.
Sheffield United slipped to 20th in the league whilst Bristol City sustain a comfortable 6th position; the Blades have a week wait now until their next fixture when they entertain Preston North End at Bramall Lane where hopefully (if he his still at the club) Robson will get it right.
|Competition: Coca-Cola Championship Date: Saturday, 6th October 2007 Kick off: 17:20 Venue: Ashton Gate|
|2 - 0||Sheff. Utd.
|8||David Noble (Skuse 75)||7|
|2||Bradley Orr (McCombe 67)||7|
|34||Darren Byfield (Trundle 79)||7|
|5||Jamie McCombe (Orr 67)||6|
|14||Cole Skuse (Noble 75)|
|23||Lee Trundle (Byfield 79)|
|22||Chris Lucketti (Sharp 89)||6|
|11||Lee Hendrie (Quinn 46)||6|
|8||Jon Stead (Shelton 60)||5|
|28||Stephen Quinn (Hendrie 46)||6|
|7||Luton Shelton (Stead 60)||6|
|24||Billy Sharp (Lucketti 89)|
|Bristol City cards shown|
|48 mins||Louis Carey||Unsporting behaviour|
|Sheff. Utd. cards shown|
|45 mins||Michael Tonge||Unsporting behaviour|
|48 mins||Alan Quinn||Unsporting behaviour|
|82 mins||Chris Lucketti||Unsporting behaviour|