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Hibs 0-0 Blades - report

25 July 2012

Danny Wilson rotated his players again in the second game of the 2012 Malta tour. Making seven second half substitutions the Blades manager gave a game to as many players as he was able.


Given the intense heat, it was no surprise the Blades manager again used most of the options at his disposal in a much closer game against last season's runners up in the BOV Maltese Premier League.


Ryan Flynn and Chris Porter were ruled out on precautionary grounds with slight strains but Kevin McDonald started just hours after confirmation of his signing a new contract with Wilson's side.


The Blades and Hibernians traded chances during an eventful, even, goalless first-half.


United goalkeeper Mark Howard produced smart reaction saves to deny Adrian Pulis and Jean-Paul Farrugia while, at the other end of the pitch, Neill Collins went close to poking the ball home beyond Mario Muscat. Stephen Quinn, lining-up alongside McDonald, Nick Montgomery and Jordan Chapell in midfield, also tried his luck with an angled drive. Hibernians substitute Andrew Cohen shot tamely wide moments before the interval.


The second period was an altogether more one sided affair with Blades in the ascendancy for long periods. All that was missing was an elusive goal which the visitors more deserved for their dominance.


Trialist Mikey Mampuya cleared Farrugia's effort soon after the re-start and Howard did well again to prevent Jackson Lima's long-range shot hitting the target.


The game then swung towards the home side's goal as the Blades created a number chances which were denied by some very committed last gasp defending from the home team's rear guard. John Cofie saw a shot deflected wide following some good work by Richard Cresswell coming into the box from the right. Having set up Cofie, Cresswell watched his well struck shot go just past the post after a brave block from the Hibs keeper.


Cofie, on loan from Manchester United, was in the thick of the action again soon after but Hibernians managed to hack the ball clear.


Matthew Harriott tested Mario Muscat with a fierce blast from distance before Joe Ironside saw the Blades' second strong penalty appeal turned down after being tripped in the box.


Earlier in the half, Stephen Quinn's shot appeared to be handled by a Hibernians defender. Despite protests on both occasions from the Blades supporters at that end of the ground the referee remained adamant that no offence had taken place.


The Malta tour concluded the football action with the Blades keeping a second clean sheet and remaining unbeaten in the Mediterranean.


United:
Howard, Mampuya (Harriott 60), Maguire, Collins, Westlake, Chapell (McAllister 60), Montgomery (Ironside 60), McDonald (Philliskirk 60), Quinn (Doyle 60), Cofie (Tonne 76), Cresswell (Williams 60)


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