Blades 2-2 Orient - report
Late drama is guaranteed at United matches of late.
In Saturday's home encounter with Leyton Orient there were goals after 90, 92 and 98 minutes before the spoils were shared.
In addition, the Blades had a goal disallowed, hit the woodwork three times and missed from a yard.
Paddy McCarthy and Marc McNulty were the Blades goalscorers.
Loanee McCarthy made his home debut as boss Clough made a whole host of changes following the midweek Johnstone's Paint Trophy victory over Hartlepool - nine in total. In the opposition camp, former Blades Henderson and Lowry started.
McCarthy and McEveley lined up as the new central defensive partnership and Baxter was the most advanced Blade - the first chance, inside the opening minute, fell to him. Flynn's pace got the better of Omozusi and from the pull-back Baxter scuffed wide. Murphy also almost got in a couple of times early on, whilst the visitors forced a couple of corners in the opening ten minutes and Wallace was ideally place to prevent a breakaway.
Wallace was linking up with Baxter well in the first half and the latter's shot on the turn was easy for Woods on 20 minutes but the visitors weathered the early storm and quietened the Lane crowd.
So much so, there was deafly silence when the visitors opened the scoring, in front of the Kop, on 38 minutes. The Blades were struggling to break through the Orient defence and when Omozusi's cross saw Howard spill under pressure from Pritchard, SIMPSON tapped home to add to the frustration of the crowd. Within a minute Harris cleared McAnuff's cross as the visitors looked for a second.
There was a reaction from the Blades. Two Orient players picked up bookings for crude challenges and a neat link up between Flynn and Murphy resulted in Cuthbert clearing when Baxter was well placed to score. The last chance of the half was a 30-yard shot from Baxter but Woods held.
The Blades made a blistering start to the second half, creating two good chances in the opening five minutes. From Baxter's corner, Alcock's powerful header was cleared off the line by Simpson and the Kop was astonished the leveller didn't follow on 50 minutes. From Baxter's cross, Lowry turned the ball against his own post and from a yard Wallace turned the rebound over the bar.
From a quick Wallace corner, Murphy's turn in the penalty area presented a shooting opportunity but his effort was wide and Clough's first change was just after the hour when McNulty took over from the tiring Baxter.
McNulty's diving header from Wallace's cross was wide and Clough made the remainder of his changes, introducing Campbell-Ryce and Basham for the last 15 minutes. Alcock was booked for a foul on McAnuff and a minute later McAnuff was booked for a challenge on Alcock. Unfortunately for the Orient man, it was his second yellow and he traipsed off.
Henderson's header was straight at Howard but United's second half dominance continued. On 75 minutes, Flynn's shot across goal spurted out to McNulty at the back post but after he slotted home he was adjudged offside and the same linesman was unimpressed when Campbell-Ryce went down under Omozusi's challenge in the box.
In the final ten minutes, Basham headed wide a Campbell-Ryce cross and then the Blades went closer still on 86 minutes. Campbell-Ryce's deep cross was won by Alcock but McNulty forced the ball against a post before Orient scrambled clear.
A Basham header then came back off the crossbar as it looked as though United's luck was out, but the late goals are now a trademark.
The clock was rolling around to 90 minutes when Campbell-Ryce's deep cross was won by McCarthy and Doyle delivered back into the penalty area. The melee that ensued was frantic before it was McCARTHY who forced the ball home.
Seven minutes of added time was announced and in the second of those minutes the Blades went ahead. It came from another Campbell-Ryce cross and this time McNULTY met with a powerful header, giving Woods no chance.
The five minutes of remaining time left were now for United to protect and Howard and his defence looked comfortable until the eighth minute of added time. Price swung in a corner and VINCELOT rose highest to powerfully head home, beating Harris on the line.
Blades: Howard, Alcock, Harris, Wallace (Campbell-Ryce 71), Flynn, Doyle, Murphy, Scougall (Basham 74), Baxter (McNulty 61), McEveley, McCarthy.
Unused: Davies, McGahey, Reed, Turner.
Orient: Woods, Omozusi, Vincelot, Cuthbert, McAnuff, Lowry, Clarke, Pritchard (Batt 90), Henderson (Bartley 84), Price, Simpson (Dagnall 69).
Unused: Lee, Kashket, Grainger, Ling.