Barnsley 1-1 Blades - match report
Saturday's lunchtime derby was all-action and full of entertainment but United will be disappointed at conceding an injury-time equaliser.
Chris Basham gave the Blades the lead, whilst goalkeeper Adam Davies was named the home side's man of the match after a string of fine saves.
Barnsley hit the woodwork twice and George Long made a tremendous penalty save before Conor Hourihane netted in the 95th minute.
Chief Adkins rang the changes and amongst the five incoming was cult hero Brayford, making his first appearance of the season. Edgar, Coutts and ex Barnsley duo Done and Campbell-Ryce also started. Baxter missed out with a lower leg injury, whilst Freeman, Reed, Sammon and Adams dropped to the bench.
The Blades fans making the trip up the M1 would have wanted a reaction and it took 30 seconds to register the first chance but Done's effort was deflected wide from Campbell-Ryce's cross. Further attacking intent saw Harris whip in a free-kick on three minutes, from which Hammond headed across the box but Basham was unable to poke in at the back post.
Barnsley's first opportunity saw Watkins head wide an Isgrove cross but they went closer still on 13 minutes. A Collins slip allowed Watkins to lay inside and after Long kept out Winnall's shot, Isgrove scuffed the rebound wide from inside the six yard box.
The home side were left to rue the miss within minutes. A stretching Sharp poked at goalkeeper Davies from Hammond's pass before the Blades grabbed the lead from a corner. A Harris delivery from the right saw plenty of movement in the box before BASHAM found space to head home.
The skipper's goal gave United the opportunity to settle and slow the game down, curtailing the amount of Barnsley chances. Done and Campbell-Ryce dropped into deeper roles and the home side's only chance in the next 20 minutes was a short Hammill free-kick but referee Swarbrick impeded White.
Brayford tried his luck with right and left-foot efforts, whilst before the break another corner from Harris caused problems in a crowded penalty area before Barnsley scrambled clear.
Both sides won an early corner but the first chances of the second period fell to the Blades. On 53 minutes, Long's big kick caught out the home side and after Sharp beat White, Wabara was forced to slice over his own crossbar to prevent Done scoring. Soon after, Sharp did well to hold up possession and after Campbell-Ryce laid off, Basham sidefooted wide.
The boisterous Blades fans went quiet, however, on 59 minutes, after the concession of a penalty. Winnall's pass through the defence saw Hammill nick the ball away before a challenge from Collins. The spot-kick was given but the Unitedites were back on their feet when Long made a tremendous, full-length save low to his right, pushing away Hourihane's kick.
At the other end Davies was then in the thick of the action for the next 10 minutes. He messed up a clearance that saw a long-range Coutts shot turn into a pass to Sharp, who forced the goalkeeper into a save with his chest. Coutts then fired over after Done stepped over Brayford's cross, whilst following a stoppage to have his head bandaged, Davies saved from Done, who took a lovely touch to bring down a Harris through ball.
The action was frantic and Woolford replaced Campbell-Ryce, who pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. As the game entered the final ten minutes, Barnsley, now a little more direct, went close as Winnall's flicked header from Hammill's delivery came back off a post and was hacked clear.
Late on the action remained full on. Referee Swarbrick limped out of the game, whilst Barnsley struck the woodwork again - Nyatanga's header hitting the top of the crossbar from Hourihane's corner.
Due to injuries and substitutions - Freeman and McEveley were introduced late on - six minutes of added time was announced. Expectedly, Barnsley piled on the pressure and it was rewarded in the fifth of the added time. A hopeful ball into the box was half cleared and HOURIHANE drilled back an unstoppable effort, through bodies and into the bottom corner.
There was still time for a corner each in the remaining moments, Collins heading over for United, before the final whistle signalled the spoils were shared, the 3,939 Blades applauding the players off at the end.
Barnsley: Davies, Wabara, Mawson, Nyatanga, White (Smith 79), Isgrove (Williams 71), Hourihane, Pearson, Hammill, Watkins (Toney 71), Winnall.
Unused: Townsend, Roberts, Bree, Jackson.
Blades: Long, Harris, Brayford, Basham, Coutts, Sharp, Done (Freeman 84), Collins, Campbell-Ryce (Woolford 70), Edgar (McEveley 90), Hammond.
Unused: Howard, Sammon, Reed, Adams.