Carlisle 1-0 Blades - report
The Blades remain without an away league win under David Weir after Saturday's defeat at Carlisle United.
Matty Robson scored the all-important goal for the home side, who responded positively to their managerial change in midweek.
Manager Weir rang the changes for the long haul to take on Carlisle - four in total. Long, Westlake, McGinn and Ironside were recalled, replacing Howard, Coady, Flynn and Porter. Additionally, it did not take long to work out that there was a deviation from the usual formation, which included skipper Doyle anchoring the midfield and Westlake stationed in front of McMahon on the right.
The percentage of possession in the opening five minutes must have been around 80-20 in favour of the Blades but the first chance dropped to the home side when a free-kick launched into the box fell at the feet of Noble, who half-volleyed wide from the edge of the box.
Ironside had an effort charged down as United's competence on the ball continued in the first half, whilst Baxter and McMahon worked a neat corner routine with the aim of trying to open up the Carlisle defence.
All eyes were on referee Bond when Long and Miller collided on 19 minutes. The home supporters were vociferous in appealing for a penalty but the man in the middle took his time before awarding the Blades a goal-kick.
Half-chances were materialising for United as the first half wore on. Collins headed over a corner from Baxter, who then curled over another effort and a shot from McGinn was deflected wide.
Home captain Miller looked Carlisle's biggest threat in the first half and he proved it twice before the break. He collected his own flick to present a chance for Robson, whose shot was deflected wide, and then the big number nine fired a half-volley at Long in injury-time.
Early in the second half Maguire picked up the game's first booking, crudely stopping a dangerous run from Robson, who was to play an influential part in the following moments.
It was the Carlisle number three's resulting free-kick which Long had to flick around a post and from the next corner, ROBSON nodded home following a number of ricochets, despite Doyle attempting to hook clear.
The 750 Blades fans who made the trip continued their vocal support despite going behind and Weir made a double change just after the hour mark with Taylor and McFadzean replacing Ironside and McGinn. McFadzean's first contribution was to pick up a booking for a foul on McSweeney.
Baxter and Cuvelier linked up to an enable McFadzean to drive the ball across the six-yard box, just evading Westlake, and then the Sheffield-born substitute also got the better of McSweeney moments later but from his pull-back Doyle shot over Gillespie's crossbar.
For the final 15 minutes Bunn replaced Westlake on the right but time was running out for the Blades, with the final ball, on a number of occasions, preventing the visiting making progress.
Archibald-Henville headed wide a free-kick in the final minutes as Carlisle looked to close out the game, whilst the home bench were incensed by the officials' decision to add five injury-time minutes, in which Cuvelier stung the palms of Gillespie.
The last action, though, was Long saving from Amoo and seconds later the referee's whistle signalled defeat for the Blades.
Carlisle: Gillespie, Robson, Amoo, Noble (Potts 88), Miller (Beck 84), Thirlwell, Berrett, O'Hanlon, Guy (Townsend 32), Archibald-Henville, McSweeney.
Unused: Livesey, Gillies, Symington, Fleming.
Blades: Long, Westlake (Bunn 76), Maguire, Hill, Doyle, Baxter, McGinn (McFadzean 61), Collins, Cuvelier, Ironside (Taylor 61), McMahon.
Unused: Howard, Coady, McGinty, Eyre.