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Alfreton 0-1 Blades - report

22 July 2013

Lyle Taylor netted his first Blades goal in a one-sided encounter at Alfreton on Monday evening.

In another worthwhile pre-season fixture, United dominated against the Conference Premier outfit.

The Blades created countless chances but had to wait until 54 minutes before Taylor netted with a rebound after Sean McGinty's shot was saved.

New loan capture Coady, as well as McMahon, Flynn and Taylor, all started as the travelling squad was a mixture of senior players and young professionals, whilst apprentices McDonagh and Whiteman were on the bench.

As is the norm in this pre-season campaign, the Blades saw plenty of the ball early on and won a number of corners as well as Whitehouse striking just over the crossbar on two minutes.

Alfreton's first chance arrived on 17 minutes, following a slip by Higginbotham, Clayton's shot, under pressure from McMahon, was saved by Howard. United hit back with Taylor sidefooting over a McGinty cross, McFadzean seeing his shot saved by Atkins after space opened up for an effort and Smith slicing wide from Taylor's pull-back, all before the half hour mark.

Blades chances continued. A Smith shot was saved, McMahon headed over a deep McGinty cross, whilst McFadzean saw his effort blocked by the body of goalkeeper Atkins after a mix-up in the home defence.

Before the half-time whistle there were yet more attempts, this time from Coady and Smith, whilst at the interval, McMahon and Flynn were both replaced after their first outings. It did not take long before the chances continued after the break and Taylor's header from Kennedy's cross was pushed away by Atkins.

On 53 minutes another Taylor effort, this time deflected, was parried by Atkins and the follow up from Kennedy struck a post but United's endeavour was rewarded a minute later. McFadzean's pass found the marauding run of McGinty, and although his shot from the left was kept out by the over-worked home goalkeeper, TAYLOR followed up to claim his first goal in a Blades shirt.

Boss Weir completed his outfield substitutes by the hour mark but the chances continued. Ironside's shot on the turn was wide and McDonagh's effort, from inside the box, was blocked.

Howard was called upon to keep out a chip from Purkiss on 74 minutes and although Alfreton came more into the game as a more youthful Blades team finished the game, the victory was a thoroughly deserved one for Weir and co.

Alfreton: Atkins, Wood, Franklin, Westwood, Fenton, Shaw, Law, Clayton, Ramsey-Dickson, A. Taylor, Meadows.
Subs: C. Taylor, Purkiss, Palmer, Webster, Weldon, Kempson.

Blades: Howard, McMahon (Kennedy 45), Higginbotham (Barry 55), Hill (Hodder 60), McGinty, Flynn (Ironside 45), Coady (Whiteman 60), McFadzean, Whitehouse, Taylor, Smith (McDonagh 55).
Unused: Willis.

Att: 406

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