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16:50 14th March 2015

Scunthorpe 1-1 Blades - report

The Blades made it five unbeaten on the road with a point in Saturday's Sky Bet League One encounter at Scunthorpe United.

After a promising Blades start, Neal Bishop opened the scoring for the home side but Kieron Freeman's first United goal levelled the scores on the stroke of half-time.

However, despite more chances after the interval, United were unable to record a first win at Glanford Park and were helped by a disallowed Scunthorpe goal on 49 minutes.

Manager Clough made two changes for the short trip to Scunthorpe. Freeman and Reed both started with Baxter dropping to the bench and Basham suspended. Former Blade Williams made a surprise return for home side, conceding a free-kick in the opening minute.

It was quickly apparent that Brayford was operating as a central defender and Coutts returned to a more familiar role in the middle of the midfield. Freeman and Done began on the right.

Despite Bishop volleying over for Scunthorpe, the Blades displayed the early endeavour. Davies was offside as he met a Harris cross, whilst on nine minutes a mis-placed Williams pass gave Reed the chance to open the scoring but his shot was blocked by the goalkeeper's legs.

Home stopper Daniels also saved from Murphy after Davies won possession on the left but it was on 21 minutes when United had a fantastic chance to open the scoring but Done's diving header from a Coutts cross was just wide.

The Blades chances continued. Reed shot wide from the edge of the box and on the half hour a free-kick from Harris found Brayford but his shot on the turn was saved by Daniels.

The promising start, however, was undone on 37 minutes. Evans floated a free-kick into the penalty area and after Canavan won the initial header, BISHOP nodded home the loose ball from close range.

But, with the only other chance of the first period, the Blades levelled. The referee's watch was just ticking around to 45 minutes when Murphy laid off to Harris, who delivered a deep cross which FREEMAN ran onto, hammering first time into the bottom corner of the net.

There was drama at the start of the second period after the home outfit were awarded a corner. An inswinger from McSheffrey was dropped into his own net by Turner but referee Handley spotted a foul and was quick to award the Blades a free-kick.

The start of the second half was more even, frantic but without chances at either end, especially after referee Handley failed to spot McSheffrey's trip on Freeman just inside the box.

On 73 minutes, Coutts was replaced by Holt, who almost made an immediate impression when he got a touch to a Davies cross before Daniels gathered.

A van Veen header from a free-kick was close for the home side on 79 minutes and they went closer still a moment later with a move from the right before Madden directed the ball wide when free on goal. Madden wasted another chance soon after, scuffing a shot at Turner.

In the final ten minutes Doyle and Davies tried their luck from outside the box, both shots creeping wide, whilst Turner was called into action to bat away a van Veen shot on 85 minutes.

United's final chance was on 87 minutes when Doyle laid out to Murphy, whose cross was turned over the crossbar by Holt and Alcock replaced cramp-victim Freeman as the game ticked round to four minutes of stoppage time.

In the added time there was little to report to leave the game even and perfectly poised for when the teams meet at Bramall Lane in ten days.

Scunthorpe: Daniels, Canavan, Madden, Bishop (Adelakun 45), Evans (van Veen 73), O'Neil, Boyce, McSheffrey (Wootton 77), Williams, Clarke, Osbourne.
Unused: Townsend, Llera, Davey, Anyon.

Blades: Turner, Harris, Brayford, Doyle, Murphy, Done, Coutts (Holt 73), McEveley, Reed, Freeman (Alcock 90), S. Davies.
Unused: Baxter, McNulty, Willis, B. Davies, Adams.