Swindon 2-4 Blades - report
Tuesday night's victory at Swindon Town was United's 1889th league victory ever!
Leading 2-0 at the break through Caolan Lavery and Kieron Freeman, a quick-fire Swindon double levelled the scores but Jay O'Shea and Paul Coutts ensured the long trip to Wiltshire was worthwhile for the league leaders.
Attacking duo Lavery and O'Shea started as chief Wilder made two changes to his starting line-up. They replaced Wright and Hanson, who dropped to the bench, and were joined by the returning Chapman.
An early corner routine and two free-kicks put United on the front foot and on 10 minutes Freeman was fouled on the edge of the Swindon box but the referee played advantage as Lavery was crowded out.
The home side's first half-chance was a half-volley by Obika, which was comfortably wide on 14 minutes, whilst a Dabo inswinging cross forced Moore to turn the ball wide soon after.
United, though, were on top and Coutts and Lafferty went close before the visitors took the lead just before the half hour. Dabo's back pass was short and LAVERY was quicker than goalkeeper Henry to poke home, with the aid of the inside of a post.
Six minutes later the advantage was doubled. After countless passes to stretch the home players, Lavery got to the byline on the left and pulled back for the fast-approaching FREEMAN to side-foot home from close range.
Ajose's pace in and around O'Connell and Ebanks-Landell was a threat but the final chance of the half saw United almost add a third. O'Connell whipped in a cross and although Sharp connected at the back post he was unable to turn the ball towards goal.
Just 21 seconds after the restart the home side pulled a goal back. COLKETT was allowed the space to run at the United defence and he let fly with a shot which found the top corner of Moore's net.
Freeman tried his luck with a left footer but Swindon levelled on 53 minutes, with a goal reminiscent of their first. This time GLADWIN was allowed the space and he fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Carruthers replaced Lavery and the goal-laden start of the second period continued with the Blades handed a gift. Goalkeeper Henry's attempted pass to Rossi-Branco was intercepted by O'SHEA, who then slotted home, despite the efforts of the retreating stopper.
On 69 minutes Swindon had the ball in the net but they were denied by an assistant's flag. From a deep, left-wing cross, onside Obika's header was bound for the net but offside Ajose added a touch and was penalised.
Hanson was introduced for the final 20 minutes and the action was frantic. Fleck and Ebanks-Landell were denied in the same move and Lafferty was forced to head clear and then block from Obika.
On 81 minutes, Hanson headed off the line a Conroy effort from a corner and at the other end Dabo headed clear a Carruthers curler, with Sharp firing the rebound over the top.
Before and after five minutes of added time was announced, the Blades were professional in slowing down the action. Swindon were pushing for an equaliser and were caught on the counter-attack in the second minute of added time. Fleck broke away, laying off to Carruthers, who had just stepped inside the penalty area when he was fouled by Colkett. With Sharp replaced by Wright moments earlier, COUTTS took responsibility for the spot-kick and fired home.
There was time for a late Obika shot but Moore saved comfortable and the Blades headed back northern with three more valuable points.
Swindon: Henry, Thompson, Gladwin (Norris 83), Obika, Goddard, Ajose, Colkett, Dabo, Ince, Conroy, Rossi-Branco.
Unused: Thomas, Rodgers, Iandolo, Starkey, Twine, Simpson.
Blades: Moore, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Lavery (Carruthers 57), Sharp (Wright 87), Coutts, Freeman, Ebanks-Landell, Lafferty, O'Shea (Hanson 70).
Unused: Long, McNulty, Done, Chapman.