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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:50 26th February 2013

Blades 0-0 Orient - report

The Blades recorded a fourth consecutive clean sheet but were unable to extend the winning run in front of the Blades crowd.


George Long made a number of important saves and Ryan Flynn hit a post for the Blades in the stalemate.


Chief Wilson was denied the opportunity to name an unchanged team for the third game in succession due to a groin injury sustained by Murphy, Saturday's matchwinner. Loan striker Poleon came in for his first start, whilst Cresswell returned to the bench.


The first two shots of the evening fell to the visitors - Batt's effort was well off target and went out for a throw whilst Cox fired straight at Long after cutting in from the left. The first Blades opportunity came from a corner on 13 minutes when Kitson and Maguire both won headers before Collins directed the ball just wide. Poleon, who was partnering Kitson in a central position, hit a half-volley wide soon after.


Long was called upon to get his mate out of trouble when Maguire allowed the ball to bounce, giving Batt the opportunity to get free - fortunately the young Blades goalkeeper was quickly off his line to push away a shot.


Vincelot headed a corner wide on 28 minutes and Cox shot wide as United failed to reach the heights of recent games in the opening half. Poleon moved out wide with Robson heading centrally and the latter produced a number of neat touches but the Blades were unable to cause too many problems for Orient goalkeeper Jones before the interval.


Backed by a noisy Kop, the Blades were better at the start of the second period. Maguire almost connected with a corner and then a delightful through ball by Robson found Poleon but his effort, with his outstretched toe, drifted agonisingly wide.


Just after the hour McFadzean was introduced for his league debut, replacing Poleon, but Orient regained their composure and forced United back. On 66 minutes, the Blades were again indebted to Long, who made an impressive double save to keep out both Vincelot and then the rebound from Mooney.


With Cresswell and De Girolamo on the touchline and poised to take the places of Kitson and Robson, Flynn fired against the base of post on 71 minutes, after a free-kick from Collins caused problems.


McFadzean was booked for a clumsy challenge on McSweeney and a run from De Girolamo, riding two challenges, excited the Lane crowd. As the game entered the final ten minutes the chances continued - at both ends.


With Long at full stretch, Mooney curled wide for Orient, whilst for United the ball dropped invitingly for a Doyle volley but goalkeeper Jones tipped over the powerful effort. The resulting corner saw Cresswell head onto the roof of the net and with the next move a first-timer from Maguire was straight at Jones.


Two blocks from Higginbotham denied Odujabo and a long-range Cresswell header failed to trouble Jones, seconds before the fourth official announced three added minute.


In injury-time a shot from McDonald was deflected wide by Clarke and that was the final chance as both sides collected a point.


Blades: Long, Higginbotham, Maguire, Flynn, Doyle, McDonald, Kitson (Cresswell 72), Collins, Robson (De Girolamo 72), Poleon (McFadzean 64), McMahon.
Unused: Westlake, Hill, Ironside, Coyne.


Orient: Jones, McSweeney, Vincelot, Cuthbert, Baudry, Cox, Smith, Clarke, Odubajo, James, Batt (Mooney 57).
Unused: Griffith, Macdonald, Grainger, Obafemi, Cook, Omozusi.