His defensive display was more than assuring, but on loan Frenchman, Jean Calve, popped up with a strike which the world's best would have been proud of. He rocketed the ball into Andy Lonergan's top-left corner from 35-yards out to award the Blades their first victory of the season and Gary Speed's first win as a manager.
Chris Morgan didn't start because of calf strain, so Nyron Nosworthy and Kyle Bartley formed a partnership in the central part of the defence. The full-back positions also saw two new faces in Stephen Jordan and Jean Calve, at left-back and right-back respectively.
The Blades, under the management of Gary Speed, tried to adpot a fluid passing style right from the off, similar to they did at the Riverside last weekend. The first piece of action in the game was Keith Treacy's free-kick which struck Simonsen's woodwork, however, the free-kick was very harshly given when it seemed Montgomery won the ball.
Billy Jones prevented Ched Evans from having a firm strike at goal after a through ball from Kyle Bartley. Somehow, a goal-kick was given.
The Blades had three shots on goal, all off target, but Calve's effort just grazed PNE's crossbar. Calve's deep cross almost dipped in. In the early stages of the second-half, Simonsen superbly saved from King, Jones shot wide, and then Simonsen collected another shot from King.
Yeates replaced Evans for the Blades, and Preston made their own change too, with Keith Treacy going off for Danny Mayor. 74 minutes had passed, and the ball was laid off to defender Jean Calve who, bearing in mind has never scored a goal in professional football, took a few steps forward and smashed the ball from 35-yards out into the top-corner in what was a quite sublime goal. An early contender for goal of the season. His celebrations were hectic, with him being mobbed by his team-mates; he had to limp off with cramp after the frenetic celebrations. He was greeted down the tunnel with a standing ovation and a hug from his manager Gary Speed.
Billy Jones was denied by Simonsen and, in the final few minutes, Bartley fouled Parkin which was adjudged outside the area by the referee, but North End were protesting as they believed it was inside. The resulting free-kick was hammered straight at the Blades wall.
King blazed over for the Lilywhites, and then Montgomery hit the side-netting from a few yards out for the Blades, when he should have at least worked the goalkeeper.
United recorded their first victory of the 2010/2011 npower Championship season, and the win lifts the Blades off the foot of the table. Take a bow, Jean Calve. What a world class finish! A cracking debut topped off by a fantastic strike. A promising performance at home from Gary Speed's boys, but there were rarely any end product. Two weeks to work on it in the international break, before a trip to Derby County. The final score from Bramall Lane, is, Sheffield United 1:0 Preston North End.
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