United set new club record

Last updated : 04 March 2009 By Bladesmadeditor
Paddy Kenny celebrates
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Kevin Blackwell's lads will have their name in print when they look back in the history books as the first Blades team to go 12 games unbeaten away from home. Goals from defensive duo Leigh Bromby and Chris Morgan secured maximum points for the red and white wizards despite Neil Dann pulling back a goal for the Sky Blues.

Brian Howard and Leigh Bromby both stepped in for the injured Danny Webber and Greg Halford although the duo made the bench. Kyle Naughton played the right-midfield role as Bromby slotted in just behind him in right-back. Cotterill started on the left-wing whilst Howard played behind Henderson who was the lone striker. New signing John Joe O'Toole had to settle for a starting birth on the bench.

Kyle Naughton did a double block from Simpson and then Eastwood in the opening stages. The Sky Blues continued to mount the pressure on Kevin Blackwell's troops when Fox's dangerous cross had to be cleared by Bromby.

15 minutes into the game United's first opportunity arose. Henderson's flick on was greeted by Chris Morgan who snuck around City's back line to head towards goal but Westwood superbly tipped over. From the resulting corner Henderson hit the ball high and wide over the crossbar.

Kenny scrambled across his goal to push the ball round the post from Eastwood's drill. Coventry's very own Henderson couldn't convert after two attempts. Midfield duo David Cotterill and Stephen Quinn both had speculative efforts but both missed by a few yards.

On the 45 minute mark, Henderson latched onto Howard's cross to nod towards goal but Westwood acrabatically tipped the ball onto the crossbar -
Leigh Bromby nets the opener
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only to fall to the forehead of Bromby who unconvincingly directed the ball over the line despite the goalkeeper trying his best efforts to keep it out but the linesman gave the goal. Westwood was adamant that ball didn't cross the line.

The former Carlisle shot stopper was cautioned for dissent whilst Nick Montgomery joined him in the book shortly after. The half-time whislte went but boo's rung around the Ricoh from the City fans directed towards the referee and his officials.

Gunnarrson challenged unfairly on Stephen Quinn so the consequences were that he received a yellow card. Naughton who surged down the flank to press for another Blades goal was brought down. Cotterill curled the resulting free-kick into the box where Morgan leapt above about everyone and clinically and powerfully headed into the back of the net to double United's lead.

The Sky Blues picked up another caution when Dann were the next City player to be in the referee's book. 5 minutes later in the 70th minute, Dann nodded in to the base of the net from a Gunnarsson long-throw after being left partially unmarked.

Coventry were on a real high and were clearly given a boost by the goal. But Blades manager Kevin Blackwell halted Chris Coleman's men by making a triple of substitutions, although all of them weren't in one go. O'Toole came onto the field of play to make his Blades debut, he replaced Brian Howard. Cotterill then made way for Halford a couple of minutes later and then goalscorer Leigh Bromby was substituted for Beattie.

O'Toole got straight into the thick of things when he blasted the ball inches wide of Westwood's woodwork from long-range. With 3 minutes shown by the fourth official, United had to hold on with the skin if their teeth. And they did just that and have stormed up the table. The red and white wizards now root their position in a play-off place and mount the pressure on those above and below them. The record of 12 games unbeaten away from home is an achievement to be proud of. The final score from the Ricoh Arena is Coventry City 1:2 Sheffield United.