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U21s 2-3 Birmingham - report

PUBLISHED

16:15 28th October 2013

United's U21 have exited the U21 Premier League cup, following a 3-2 defeat against Birmingham City at Bramall Lane on Monday.


Shaun Miller, who completed 90 minutes, netted twice early on to put the Blades in the ascendancy, but a spirited fightback by the visitors saw Koby Arthur net a second-half winner after Reece Hales and Liam Truslove had restored parity before the break.


Mark Howard, Darryl Westlake, Terry Kennedy, Sean McGinty and Jamie Murphy all got a full game under their belts.


United started the game positively and went ahead in the 4th minute as MILLER applied the finishing touch at the near post after a well worked short corner routine on the right.


Ironside should have scored after good work by Bunn, but moments later MILLER broke the offside trap after being freed by Smith and he rounded the advancing Townsend confidently before firing the ball into the unguarded net.


The hosts came close to a third from the next attack but City's number one tipped over Bunn's goalbound header after Hodder and Smith had combined on the right-wing.


The Blades were made to pay as Birmingham got back into the game with their first attack. Antelmi robbed McGinty and slotted in HALES who cut inside Kennedy and unleashed a shot past Howard.


A short corner routine for the Blues almost saw them equalise but Howard was alert to deny Truslove after he had combined with Hales. TRUSLOVE wasn't to be denied though and five minutes before half-time the midfielder fired the ball home into the bottom left-hand corner from fully 30 yards.


As in the first period, United started the second-half on the front foot and only the assistant's raised flag denied Miller a deserved hat-trick. Murphy was the next to come within a whisker of restoring the Blades lead, but his left footed effort came agonisily off the cross and moments later Smith forced Townsend into another smart save.


In the 72nd minute, somewhat against the run of play, Birmingham scored what proved to be with winner, as ARTHUR picked up a loose ball in midfield, shaking off Westlake before slamming the ball into the top corner with his left foot.


The Blades ended the game in positive fashion and McGinty headed wide and then over as they chased what proved to be an elusive equaliser during the four minutes of injury-time.


Blades: Howard, Hodder, Johns (McFadzean 69), Westlake, Kennedy, McGinty, Smith, Bunn, Ironside, Miller, Murphy.
Unused: Willis, Banton, Dimaio, Cockerline.