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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:50 23rd January 2016

Blades 1-1 Swindon - report

Billy Sharp scored his seventh goal in as many league games as United could only pick up a point in Saturday's encounter with last season's play-off foes.


His early penalty put the Blades in the ascendency but Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill's goal 11 minutes from time earned Swindon a point.


Boss Adkins named an unchanged team and bench for the game and after a slow and quiet start, the game burst into life around the eight-minute mark. The pace of a one-two between Sharp and
Coutts caught out Swindon's rearguard and the latter was tripped by a combination of Turnbull and Ormonde-Ottewill, giving referee Kettle the opportunity to point to the penalty spot. In-form SHARP took responsibility from 12-yards and drilled past goalkeeper Vigouroux.


Sharp almost doubled his tally two minutes later but his flicked header from Brayford's free-kick was just wide of the far post, whilst Swindon attempted to get back into the game with a spell of quick passing but all their efforts could muster in the opening half hour were shots from Rodgers and Robert, neither of which hit the target.


Swindon went closer on 33 minutes when Obika beat the offside trap, retrieved the ball and then cut inside before shooting across goal and wide, whilst the same striker was flagged offside when he challenged McEveley at the back post soon after.


United's major threats were coming via Coutts, whilst to nullify Swindon's attacking prowess, which saw them score eight goals in the previous two fixtures, the Blades attempted to keep as many players behind the ball as possible.


The Blades made a bright start to the second half, creating three chances in six minutes. The first came from a mix-up between Vigouroux and Rossi-Branco but Coutts was denied by the visiting goalkeeper, whilst Sharp twice forced saves out of Vigouroux.


A moment of confusion then caused the hearts of Unitedites to skip a beat on the hour. A delivery into the box saw Ajose fall over Long and referee Kettle pointed to the spot before he saw an assistant flagging for offside and duly changed his mind, awarding the Blades a free-kick.


The next penalty appeals, two of, were ignored by the referee. A Collins header hit Turnbull in the Swindon box and then Sharp fell under Traore's challenge.


Adkins made three changes and Flynn went close to adding to the lead after a Sharp lay off, but with 11 minutes remaining, Swindon found space to level. Kasim picked out ORMONDE-OTTEWILL on the left and he cut inside before squeezing the ball home at Long's near post.


Ormonde-Ottewill's next contribution was a cross which saw Thompson waste the chance to put the visitors ahead and late on Long held a 20-yard Balmy shot. An Obika shot on 89 minutes then bounced in front of Long but the goalkeeper managed to push the effort away to safety.


Four minutes of injury-time saw Swindon again on the offensive. Kasim's free-kick was straight at the wall and Rossi-Branco's header was claimed by Long, whilst the final kick saw the ball drop to Edgar but the Canadian's shot was straight at Vigouroux.


Blades: Long, Brayford, Basham (Flynn 57), Coutts (Reed 74), Sharp, Done, Collins, Woolford, McEveley, Edgar, Hammond (Baxter 68).
Unused: Howard, Sammon, Campbell-Ryce, Adams.


Swindon: Vigouroux, Ormonde-Ottewill, Robert, Turnbull, Kasim, Ajose, Doughty (Balmy 86), Obika, Rodgers (Traore 61), Barry (Thompson 61), Rossi-Branco.
Unused: Smith, Brophy, Belford, Iandolo.