Scunthorpe 1-1 Blades - report
A late goal from Neill Collins maintained United's unbeaten start to the npower League One campaign... despite having two men sent off at Scunthorpe.
Glanford Park is never a happy hunting ground for the Blades and red cards from Michael Doyle and Ryan Flynn, plus Leon Clarke's goal, looked like signalling defeat.
But Collins, who had already hit the crossbar, perfectly directed a header home from Tony McMahon's free-kick on 83 minutes to secure a valuable point.
Boss Wilson named the same squad for the trip to Glanford Park, sticking with the starting XI and substitutes from the 5-3 victory over Bournemouth. Ex-Scunthorpe defender Williams had to be content with a place on the bench. The home side made two signings in the 24 hours leading up to the game but Clarke and Hawley were named on the bench.
The early action was dominated by the Blades fans, who were in great voice, and it took until 11 minutes in before a chance was registered but Scunthorpe's Walker, who began the move, shot wide. The game came to life moments later with a red card - a regular occurence in United's trip to North Lincolnshire. In midfield, Doyle clashed with Grella and the referee gave a free-kick and immediately produced a red card for United's skipper. Collins took over the armband before the game re-started, whilst McAllister moved into central midfield and Cofie switched to the right flank.
The decision gave the home side the impetus and they went close from a short corner on 21 minutes. Duffy's shot was blocked in a crowded penalty area and Howard collected the loose ball.
The Blades hit back with a breakaway after McAllister robbed Prutton in centre field but the Irish midfielder opted to pass to Blackman with Cofie in space and soon after a McMahon cross was cut out by Slocombe when Blackman was poised to pounce.
Scunthorpe created the final chances of the half but Walker scuffed wide and then Grella, in added time, fired over.
The action was slow at the start of the second half, prompting Scunthorpe to make a double change, which led directly to the opening goal. Using their man advantage, Duffy progressed into the penalty area and from his cross, substitute CLARKE drifted between two defenders to head past Howard from six yards.
United went very close to levelling within five minutes. Flynn floated in a corner from the left and a header from Collins came back off the crossbar before the home side cleared.
Wilson made a double change on 70 minutes, introducing Cresswell and Williams, but the Blades chief was forced into another reshuffle soon after when Flynn was shown a straight red card. The winger's feet were deemed high when he challenged for the ball with Ribeiro and referee Rushton believed it was dangerous play.
United now had Cresswell in central midfield in a 4-3-1 formation and Wilson threw on Miller, whose first contribution was to draw a foul, from which the Blades levelled. McMahon's deft free-kick was perfectly met by a deft touch from COLLINS, who directed the ball into the bottom corner.
Scunthorpe hit back with Clarke holding the ball up for Walker to chip in a shot, which Howard tipped over, whilst the Blades were defending well and soaked up the five minutes of added time to secure the draw.
Scunthorpe: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Walker, Mirfin, Grella (Clarke 56), Barcham (Ryan 88), Jennings (Hawley 56), Canavan, Duffy, Newey, Prutton.
Unused: Severn, Gibbons, Hughes, Keegan.
Blades: Howard, Maguire, Hill (Williams 70), Flynn, Doyle, Blackman, McDonald, Collins, McAllister (Cresswell 70), Cofie (Miller 82), McMahon.
Unused: Westlake, Harriott, Ironside, Long.