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Cowdenbeath 1-1 Blades - report

6 July 2013

Chris Porter scored for the second consecutive pre-season encounter but the Blades were held at Cowdenbeath.

David Weir's second game in charge of the Blades saw him pit his wits against a former team-mate as Colin Cameron is in charge of Cowdenbeath, nicknamed The Blue Brazil.

Porter's touch in from Harry Maguire's header gave the Blades the lead on the stroke of half-time but Jordan Morton levelled for the Scottish First Division side in the second period.

Brandy and McGinty were handed their first starts in Blades colours in the friendly fixture in the Fife sunshine. The home side's teamsheet included just three triallists - five less than that were unnamed at Greenock Morton in midweek.

At an open venue, the wind was a key factor and United struggled to judge a number of early passes, whilst the first chance fell to the home side but Stevenson's free-kick struck the defensive wall.

The Blades lost Doyle through what appeared to be an injury on 12 minutes, first year professional Smith, a late addition to the tour, was his replacement. Despite a lack of chances in the first half hour, United did see a lot of the ball with Murphy and Whitehouse particularly prominent.

A long-range effort from Maguire was blocked, Murphy fired wide after cutting in from the left, and McDonald bobbled a shot into the goalkeeper's hands.

The action livened up just before the break with Cowdenbeath going close on 41 minutes when the wind held the ball up for McKenzie and, although he slotted past the onrushing Howard, the shot from the edge of the box was wide.

Smith, who, along with fellow teenager Hodder has left Chris Morgan's development squad in Sheffield to join up with the tour, then burst through the home defence and although his shot was deflected wide, the Blades netted from the subsequent corner on 44 minutes.

Cowdenbeath half-cleared Murphy's set-piece but the next delivery saw PORTER touch home Harry Maguire's back-post header into the far corner just before the half-time whistle.

Boss Weir made wholesale changes again at the break, with only Smith remaining from the first half team, and the opening chance of the half saw McGinn fire over, quickly followed by Ironside going close with a header.

Twice in as many minutes Ironside was then denied by the home goalkeeper, the first with a left-footer which was quickly followed by one with the right after the striker robbed Cowdenbeath skipper Armstrong.

However, the home side levelled with a speculative long-range effort on 64 minutes. MORTON's left-footed effort sneaked into the corner, beyond the reach on Willis.

From the middle of the park, McGinn ensured he received plenty of touches, including setting up a chance for McFadzean, who scuffed his shot, whilst Russell had a chance to win it for the home side in the final ten minutes after a stray pass in United's defence.

Blades (first half): Howard, Westlake, Maguire, Higginbotham, McGinty, Whitehouse, McDonald, Doyle (Smith 12), Brandy, Murphy, Porter.

Blades (second half): Willis, Hodder, Collins, Hill, Williams, Smith (Whitehouse 65), McGinn, McFadzean, Ironside, Cresswell, Kayara.

Attendance: 474

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