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U18s 2-2 Derby - report

17 March 2014

"Both teams will feel they should have won it as it was a game of many chances but probably a fair result on reflection," said Blades coach Travis Binnion after Saturday's fixture at the Redtooth Academy at Shirecliffe.

United started well, allowing Derby possession deep in their own half and stealing the ball and committing bodies to the counter-attack. This was a trend of the first half.

Whiteman should have had a penalty and scored in the same move while Partodikromo, Cockerline and Heh all failed to make the telling pass on breakaways. At the other end Derby hit the crossbar with an excellent free kick and also nearly scored after a melee in the box, Chesseman doing well to block.

Derby's best play was down the flanks with advancing full-backs and this is where the opening goal came from after 41 minutes, a cross from the left was converted at the second attempt to give the visitors a narrow half-time advantage.

From 50 minutes onwards the Blades took control. Whiteman should have scored twice after excellent runs but was thwarted by the Derby goalkeeper and Wright should have found the killer pass with Coustrain and Cockerline both free.

However, the equaliser did come on 76 minutes, through CHEESEMAN, who reacted first to the second phase of a corner, he smashed the ball past the visiting goalkeeper from eight yards.

The Blades soon went in the lead on 82 minutes when the excellent COCKERLINE wriggled past two defenders and found space to shoot across the goalkeeper from 18 yards out.

That really should have been game over. Always a threat throughout the game, Derby found an equaliser after a cross wasn't dealt with and they finished from ten yards on 88 minutes. The visitors nearly took all three points as a striker ran in behind the defence but Owen was alert and made a smart save.

Coach Binnion added: "It was an entertaining game throughout, lots of chances for both teams in an open game. I thought we shaded it overall on chances created and good build up play but I'm sure their manager may well feel the same.

"After going in the lead with less than ten minutes to play the lads really need to hold on and see the game out. It is a good learning curve, though, and there were a lot of positives, in particular involving four U15/16s in the squad and all but three boys will be eligible to play next season."

Blades: Owen, Ishmail, Kelly, Reed, Cummings, Cheeseman, Heh (Smith 62), Whiteman, Cockerline, Partodikromo (Wright 62), Kedman (Coustrain 62). Unused: Ramsdale, Evans.

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