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16:50 20th September 2014

Swindon 5-2 Blades - report

United's six-match unbeaten run came to an abrupt end at Swindon Town on Saturday.

A disappointing performance saw the Blades leak five goals, only responding with efforts from Marc McNulty and Ben Davies, his fourth of the campaign.

The Blades, who have not won at the County Ground since 1994, wore a new yellow and black second change strip for the first time.

Clough made three changes for the encounter at Swindon, Basham, Scougall and Murphy returned. Harris and Higdon dropped to the bench, there was no place for Wallace, whilst McEveley started against his former club.

The Blades changed formation again but were unable to prevent Swindon making a blistering start. With just four minutes gone a Kasim free-kick grazed the top of the crossbar and a good move involving Louis Thompson and Kasim presented an opportunity for Obika, but he shot wide.

The lead, however, arrived on 13 minutes. Louis Thompson's driving run through midfield drew the attentions of Collins and McEveley, allowing Michael SMITH the time and space to pick his spot beyond the exposed Howard.

Swindon's momentum continued after the goal. A break by Byrne set up Luongo but his shot was off target and Louis Thompson looked one of the home side's major threats with his energy from a central area.

Scougall was booked for kicking the ball away and although United showed a little more attacking endeavour as the half wore on, the better chances were still falling to the home side - both Rossi-Branco and Obika will think they should have scored with free headers around the six-yard box.

After Basham had met a McEveley cross, McNulty's effort was blocked by Foderingham, who was quickly off his line, whilst in added time McEveley connected with a Davies corner, but the header was a yard wide.

Clough and his coaching staff settled for words and not actions at the break, resisting the urge to make changes, and the first half chance fell to Doyle, but his volley was straight at Foderingham.

Swindon, though, soon regained their composure. Basham was booked for bringing down Louis Thompson and the resulting free-kick from Kasim was saved by Howard, but the goalkeeper was beaten moments later. Luongo eased past Scougall and McEveley before being hacked down by Collins, the referee immediately pointing to the spot. Michael SMITH beat Howard from 12 yards.

Reed replaced Basham and it got worse for the Blades as the home side added a third three minutes later. Bradley Smith's cross from the left beat McGahey and OBIKA had too much time to slot past Howard at the near post.

The tiring Scougall was replaced by Flynn and United received a chink of light on 66 minutes with a goal. A cross from Davies found McNULTY at the front post and he had a steadying touch and held off his marker before lifting over Foderingham.

Williams beat McGahey on the edge of the box but Howard flicked on and United's hopes of another revival were boosted on 72 minutes. Flynn's cross from the left was flicked away by Foderingham but DAVIES expertly sent the ball back over the goalkeeper's head and into the far top corner to make it 3-2.

The Blades fans were now on their feet but four minutes later Swindon added a fourth. Another move on the left saw the ball slipped through to substitute WILLIAMS and he wrapped his foot around the ball to direct it past Howard and into the bottom corner.

Collins was booked for a foul and then headed over a Davies corner in the space of a couple of minutes and United's misery was not over. With four minutes to go Bradley Smith beat both Reed and Davies with one move and his pull back found Louis THOMPSON, who lifted into the roof of the net from the edge of the box.

Harris replaced Collins for the closing minutes and Davies was booked in injury-time, compounding United's misery in Wiltshire and a long trip back for 873 Blades fans.

Swindon: Foderingham, N. Thompson, Byrne, Luongo (Reeves 72), Turnbull, Kasim, M. Smith, B. Smith, L. Thompson, Obika (Wiliams 64), Rossi-Branco (Lelan 76).
Unused: Waldon, Barker, Barthram, Belford.

Blades: Howard, Alcock, Basham (Reed 55), Doyle, Murphy, Scougall (Flynn 64), McNulty, Collins (Harris 88), Davies, McGahey, McEveley.
Unused: McGinn, Porter, Higdon, Turner.