Pompey Pipes Up Warnock's Wizards

Last updated : 14 January 2007 By @blades_mad1889

The Portsmouth Midfielder took advantage of a error between Claude Davis and keeper Paul Gerrard to nip in and tap home nine minutes from time after they both failed to clear the danger.

United had however took the lead, young Stephen Quinn curling in a ferocious free-kick just 20 minutes in which was unstoppable for David James to get hold of.

The visitors did have their chances and went close via Andy Cole with a drive whilst Matthew Taylor and Nico Kranjcar skimmed the post with their efforts.

Its unlikely that neither Neil Warnock or Harry Redknapp who lay the fait of statistics to rule on who would be the victors in this encounter; but it was the home side who had the advantage with Portsmouth failing to record a win at Bramall Lane since 1955.

And just like the same encounter at Fratton Park 21 days ago it was the Blades who would dominate the first half and take the lead. The match at the South Coast was slightly different; Portsmouth came out guns blazing in the second to net three goals in the 3-1 victory.

Sheffield United gave an immediate start to new striker Jon Stead who cost the Blades £750,000 last Thursday after joining from Sunderland. His debut was impressive and almost scored but his header fell straight to keeper James after Derek Geary crossed.

Stead then set up strike partner Rob Hulse who in a position to shoot un-selfishly squared to the former Leeds forward but his tame shot was saved by James.

The Blades pressure paid off in the first half, Linvoy Primus cut down Stead 20 yards out away from goal and Stephen Quinn curled in a beautiful free-kick into his top right corner to hand United a deserved lead.

Half-Time: Sheffield United 1-0 Portsmouth

Unfortunately due to an incident in the Shoreham St. Kop where medical attention was required on one supporter and was rushed to hospital delayed the kick-off my a good five to ten minutes. We do hope that the supporter is well.

They didn't dominate the second half but Portsmouth saw much of it; Pedro Mendes conquering the middle of the park whilst other team mates did their bit to fire in crosses.

The conditions didn't help; bad wind and muddy pitch wasn't to Pompey's likening and it was obvious it wasn't going to be their day when Taylor and Kranjcar both saw their shots drift passed Gerrard like 'Willow the Wisp' only to scratch the paint work off the post.

However Redknapp's teams persistence paid off thanks to a blunder that would have fit well in a 'Chuckle Brothers' sketch, the ball fell into the Blades box Davis attempted to Marshall it to Gearrad.

Gerarrd failed to read the signs and via lack of communication with Benjani closing down Davis was forced to try and clear; however O'Neil was more alert and it cannoned off O'Neil at Davis clearance to bobble into an empty goal.

The Blades had squandered a one nil lead against side who didn't look at all dangerous in front of goal; three points would have gone to the home side had it not been for a calamitous decision by keeper and defender.

Full-Time: Sheffield United 1-1 Portsmouth