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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:50 10th December 2016

Blades 4-0 Swindon - report

Four second-half goals saw the Blades beat Swindon and move up to second place in Sky Bet League One at Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon.


Having dominated the first period, a brace from Mark Duffy, a screamer from Paul Coutts and a first Blades goal for Caolan Lavery was more than enough to see off the Robins.


For the clash against the Robins, Done was restored to the starting XI with Clarke dropping to the bench. Moore, Lafferty, Ebanks-Landell and skipper Sharp all returned having not figured in the cup at Bolton, whilst the fit-again Wright was named amongst the substitutes.


All the early pressure came from the visitors and after United failed to clear a free-kick from Rodgers, Moore had to be at his best to make an instinctive save from Rossi-Branco. Having had a shot saved at one end, Freeman was then booked for a foul on Ormonde-Ottewill.


The Blades quickly got on the front foot again and had a fantastic chance in the ninth minute. Fleck freed Duffy from a Swindon corner and his ball was perfectly weighted for Done to run onto, but unfortunately Vigouroux stood tall to save. United continued to press, with Coutts and Fleck controlling the middle of the park and Thomas was carded for a late lunge on Sharp.


Chances continued to come the way of the Blades, but from a corner, despite numerous attempts to get the ball to drop, O'Connell's shot was deflected wide. In the 33rd minute, the home side again had a clear sight of goal and again Duffy was the architect. He found the run of Sharp, who attempted to lob the advancing Vigouroux. After Branco-Rossi had cleared the initial danger, Vigouroux denied Lafferty with his legs before the loose ball was cleared for a corner, from which O'Connell headed narrowly wide from the centre of the goal.


Despite enjoying the best of the first period, the game was goalless at the break. As the teams re-emerged for the second-half, Swindon made a change, with Hylton replacing Doughty.


Within a minute of the restart, the Blades should have been in front. Fleck broke through midfield and played in Lafferty, his attempt on goal found Sharp and the back post, but with the goal at his mercy, the skipper drilled an effort wide of the upright. But the opening goal came moments later, in the 52nd minute.


Done played the ball out to the left where Lafferty and Fleck combined, before the latter cut back for DUFFY to shoot towards goal and with the assistance of Vigouroux the ball was deemed to have crossed the line. Two minutes later, there was no questioning the scorer as United doubled the lead. Duffy teed up COUTTS who rifled home into Vigouroux's bottom corner in front of a jubilant Kop.


Sharp thought he had made it three from Duffy's back post cross, only for the linesman flag to intervene. But, on the hour it was three, with Fleck feeding Sharp, who crossed for DUFFY to tap home from a yard out. The Blades were now in complete control and only Vigouroux's legs denied Done after Duffy had fashioned another chance.


United made a chance with 21 minutes remaining, Done got a standing ovation, as LAVERY took his place. And within eight minutes of his arrival, from an Ebanks-Landell cross, the striker had his first Blades goal, scoring with a low effort. Lavery then came close to a second, from Fleck's pinpoint pass, but Vigouroux tipped over a rasping drive.


Four minutes of injury-time were signalled, just as Clarke wasted a chance to make it five. Then Lavery was denied by Vigouroux, but it mattered not as the Blades moved up to second in the table.


Blades: Moore, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Sharp, Done (Lavery 69), Coutts, Freeman, Ebanks-Landell, Duffy (Scougall 85) Lafferty.
Unused: Hussey, Ramsdale, Wright, Brown, Clarke.


Swindon: Vigouroux, Ormonde-Ottewill, Thompson, Rodgers, Doughty (Hylton 45), Obika (Delfouneso 62), Goddard (Smith 68), Furlong, Jones, Rossi-Branco, Norris.
Unused: Henry, Sharpe, Evans, Murray.