Hulse On the Pulse

Last updated : 19 August 2006 By @blades_mad1889

Hulse, the £2,100,000 signing from Leeds United grabbed the Premier League's first goal of the 2006-07 season campaign, this after he saw his first half effort disallowed. The Reds however were let off the hook by referee Rob Styles when he awarded a doggy penalty which Robie Fowler duly converted.

United had waited 12 years since there last top flight encounter, Chelsea had beaten the Blades to send them crashing into Division One but made a good account of themselves in what was going to be a tough encounter against a Liverpool side who lifted the FA Cup last May.

In among the 31,000 crowed was new England boss Steve McLaren - no doubt he was checking on the performances of Phil Jagielka, Michael Tonge and Danny Webber.

If there was to be any nerves to be settled by keeper Paddy Kenny on his first Premiership outing then this was quickly undone when he claimed the first corner. Armstrong also settled in quickly; beating two defenders before being awarded a free-kick.

On 22 minutes Liverpool created the most danger; left-back John Arne Riise beating Kenny on the Wing with captain Chris Morgan forced to mop up the danger. Unfortunately for Riise he slammed into the advertising boards situated on the Hallam FM Kop and was forced to be stretchered off in what is believed to be an ankle injury.

Kenny later made up for his mistake; pouncing down quickly to save after the ball deflected off Chris Armstrong after a timely taken free-kick by England international Steven Gerrard.

Finally Paul Ifill was allowed space on the left - he turned into the centre and struck with his left boot; it was saved with no problem by Reina whilst Kenny was once again called into action. Aurelio curled his free-kick towards goal which was tipped over the bar at last gasp by a surprised Kenny.

With the break looming the Blades made the break though they deserved - Danny Webber got the right side of Sami Hyypia and slid the ball through to Rob Hulse. he spun and slotted the ball home - the crowed cheered for nothing with the Assistant Referee producing an offside flag!

Half-Time: Sheffield United 0-0 Liverpool

If the home faithful had thought that they had given a good account of themselves in the first time then they must have been reeling in ecstasy soon after kick-off. Undoubtedly Neil Warnock would have been pleased with his players performances after he watched United in the stands as he serves a two match touch line ban.

United were organised and ready for the second half; and soon taught the Kop defence a lesson within 50 seconds of play. David Unsworth swung in a curling free-kick which evaded the Reds defence and landed to HULSE who headed home. The new signing from Leeds had just scored the Premier Leagues first goal of the season.

The Visitors responded with a header from defender Sami Hyypia after Gerrard provided the corner which struck the post and then Agger's long range shot was straight at Kenny.

Gerrard and Craig Bellamy combined on the right hand side but Paddy Kenny was on hand to get down quickly to parry away and his timing was needed again to deny Bellamy got onto the end of Aurelio's low cross.

The Blades sat back and invited unwanted pressure from the Reds but it was referee Rob Styles who gifted Liverpool a way back into the game. Gerrard played a one-two on 69 minutes with Bellamy and miss fired at Kenny - play was brought back and bizarrely a penalty was awarded. Kop legend ROBBIE FOWLER stepped up to send Kenny the wrong way; 1-1.

Jagielka moved back to defence in place of Leigh Bromby who was replaced by Mekele Ligertwood; another new signing making his debut. The home fans were gunning for a win that wasn't going to come, Geary fired iver from 30 yards and substitute Adi Akinbiyi saw his shot blocked.

The Blades critics predicted nothing but an away victory but will be disappointed with the outcome unlike the thousands of Blades fans who felt they deserved a win for their troubles.

Full-Time: Sheffield United 1-1 Liverpool