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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:50 28th December 2015

Blades 3-1 Bradford - report

United's biggest crowd of the season saw the Blades secure a fine Yorkshire derby victory over Bradford City.


Goals from Billy Sharp, Conor Sammon and David Edgar ensured United finished 2015 in impressive style. It was also United's fourth consecutive victory.


Chief Adkins named an unchanged team, thanks to McEveley and Basham shaking off knocks. There was one change to the bench, where Baxter replaced the injured Scougall.


Bradford lumped a couple of early free-kicks into the Blades penalty area, but the home team were determined to keep possession for as long as possible and from one patient move the opening goal materialised. A number of passes preceded McEveley laying into the feet of SHARP, who turned his man and drilled into the bottom corner from 25 yards, using the slick surface to beat goalkeeper Williams.


Home and away supporters contributed to a healthy atmosphere as both sides battled to get on top. Liddle sliced over following a quick throw and Evans had a shot blocked for the visitors, whilst United lost Done to injury midway through the half.


As the half progressed, the hectic action subsided a little, although on 43 minutes, following a free-kick after a Collins foul on Clarke, Long dived full-length to push away Liddle's 30-yard effort.


Deep into injury-time the Blades had a gilt-edged chance to double the advantage. Sammon laid off to Sharp, who beat Leigh down the flank before producing a perfect cross, unfortunately the on-loan substitute, after progressing towards goal, headed wide from inside the six-yard box.


Bradford made the brighter start to the second half and went close on 49 minutes. From Liddle's ball forward, Hanson laid off but Reid fired just wide. Like the first period, the Blades again tried to knock the ball around and from a one-two with Sammon, Woolford sidefooted wide.


United's second, however, was moments away, albeit with a little confusion with regards to the goal scorer. From a Coutts cross, SAMMON and defender Darby challenged at the back post with the ball heading into the net at the Kop end. Many inside the Lane were unsure who got the final touch but the goal was credited to the loan striker.


Ex Blade Reid fired over for the visitors a minute before the Blades made it 3-0 just after the hour. A corner was half-cleared before Woolford delivered for the unmarked EDGAR to head home his first for the club.


Expectedly, Bradford threw caution to the wind late on. From a Meredith cross, Hanson hit a post with a header and then Cole was offside as the number nine was denied by Long from the rebound, then two efforts from distance McMahon forced saves from Long - the second one a tip over the crossbar after a deflected free-kick.


Bradford did reduce the arrears on 83 minutes when a McMahon corner was flicked in at the near post by LIDDLE, but United professionally saw out the remaining moments for an impressive win, with the only other chance of note being Cole curling wide in injury-time.


Blades: Long, Brayford, Basham, Coutts, Sharp (Campbell-Ryce 90), Done (Sammon 26), Collins, Woolford (Flynn 89), McEveley, Edgar, Hammond.
Unused: Howard, Baxter, Reed, K Wallace.


Bradford: Williams, Darby, Evans (Knott 69), Liddle, Hanson, B Clarke (Cole 76), Leigh (Meredith 69), Burke, Reid, McArdle, McMahon.
Unused: N Clarke, Marshall, Bowery, Cracknell.