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Match Reports

Town v Sheffield United

8 February 2014

Town 0 Sheffield United 2

Town: Chris Weale, Joe Jacobson (Sidney Schmeltz 48), Dave McAllister, Fraser Fyvie (Jermaine Grandison 79), Jon Taylor, Tamika Mkandawire (c), Paul Parry, Connor Goldson, Ryan Woods, Tom Eaves, Joseph Mills

Subs: Dave Winfield, Tom Bradshaw, Joe Anyon, Bahrudin Atajic, Asa Hall, 

Sheffield United: Mark Howard, Bob Harris, John Brayford, Harry Maguire, Ryan Flynn, Jose Baxter, Stephen McGinn (Shaun Miller 67), Neill Collins (c), Conor Coady (Chris Porter 84), Stefan Scougall, Jamie Murphy

Subs: Matt Hill, Billy Paynter, George Long, Terry Kennedy, Diego De Girolamo

Ref: Andy Haines
Assistants: Gary Hilton and Iain Siddall
Fourth Official: Simon Mather

Attendance: 15,987 (668)

Mike Jackson makes the one change to the side with Joseph Mills coming in to replace Bahrudin Atajic in a tactical switch.  Luke Summerfield and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing are missing with slight injuries.

There were half chances for both sides in the opening 5 minutes, Town had a couple of crosses that just needed a body on the end and Sheffield had a good looping cross to the back post but Ryan Woods was alert to it with an import header.

Town have had a habit of conceding early goals in recent games and again they were behind after 10 minutes, a break down the left from Sheffield saw Murphy out in a ball that was cut back across the Town box, there were a number of Blades players running in and it was Flynn who put his shot past Weale and give Sheffield the early advantage.

Things got harder for Town on 16 minutes when the ball came to Stefan Scougall in the middle of the park, he took the ball forward and then when we was 25 yards from the Town goal sent in a long range shot that didn't look like it would worry Weale but it dropped in front of him and then sneaked in at the foot of the post.

Town's head didn't drop and they continued to work and look to get back into the game but with the two goal cushion Sheffield didn't need to play with any urgency.  The home side were still trying to get forward when they could and were making things tough for Town.

Town's first really good chance of the afternoon came on the half-hour mark when Dave McAllister came forward with the ball, he put it out wide to Eaves who held it up and then fed Paul Parry who had continued this run down the left, he cut back past the defender and then drove a cross across the box that found Joseph Mills sliding in at the back post but it was just a little too late and the ball went into the side netting.

Town were finishing the half with a little flourish and looked a but more of an attacking force, but it summed the half up when good work from Parry to get a cross in which Mills chested down, but Eaves was a little flat footed and didn't reach quick enough.

Half-time: 0-2

The half started with no changes in personnel but 3 minutes in to the half Joe Jacobson was replaced by Sidney Schmeltz, with Joseph Mills dropping to left-back and Schmeltz going onto the left wing.

Town had a great chance to pull one back after a crossfield ball from Fyvie was sent to Parry, he did well to regain possession under pressure and then fed a lovely ball to put Jon Taylor in behind the Blades defence and in on goal but he skewed his shot wide of the near post and into the side netting.

Sheffield were still in the driving seat and seemed happy to let Town have the ball and then look to hit the visitors on the counter attack.  At the other end Town were getting into some good positions and on 62 minutes Tom Eaves found the space down the left to cut inside and flash a shot across the face of the Blades goal.

Town were pushing and pushing looking to get a goal back and when Connor Goldson picked the ball up just inside the Sheffield half saw him continuing  his run, and he kept going, on the edge of the box he chipped it over the Blades defence and nearly set up Jon Taylor but a Sheffield defender got in and made an important clearance.

On 70 minutes Mike Jackson made his second switch with Bahrudin Atajic coming on to replace Tom Eaves in a straight swap, Jon Taylor continued to play upfront off the striker.

Then with 11 minutes remaining he made his last change with Jermaine Grandison replacing Fraser Fyvie, Grandison went in at right-back with Ryan Woods pushing into the centre of midfield.

But in the end Sheffield had the two goal cushion and Town didn't have anything in the final third to really test Howard in the Sheffield goal.

Full-time: 0-2

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