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U21s 1-0 Birmingham - report

15 April 2015

A first-half strike from Louis Reed helped the Blades to a fourth consecutive victory, with a deserved success over Birmingham City at Shirecliffe on Wednesday afternoon.

Reed's well taken goal proved decisive as United continue to finish the season strongly, all four recent wins have been aided by clean sheets.

Having signed a new long-term deal earlier in the week, Dominic Calvert-Lewin played a full game, whilst Reed also completed 90 minutes in front of the watching Nigel Clough.

United created the first opportunity of the game in the third minute, Dimaio's cross field pass found the run of the advancing McFadzean and having held off the attentions of Arthur, the left-back saw his shot hit the outside of the post.

At the other end, a weak backpass from McGahey left Green with only Willis to beat, but the goalkeeper made a tremendous last-ditch block and McGahey atoned by making a crucial block in the second phase.

In what was an open affair, Adams was the next Blade to have a sight of goal, having beaten Evans on the left-wing, he cut inside only to see his goalbound effort deflected wide. In the next attack, Calvert-Lewin laid off to Reed, who stung the palms of Townsend in the Blues goal.

Townsend continued to be the busier of the two goalkeepers, with Coustrain th next to draw a save from the City stopper. Calvert-Lewin with a looping header from the back post should have scored from Bywater's set-piece moments later.

United's relentless pressure paid off in the 34th minute, when REED opened the scoring after showing terrific composure to beat two defender before firing home after his initial effort was blocked.

Before the break, Green and Jones both had half-chances for the visitors, whilst Willis commanded his area well from a couple of right-wing corners.

The second-half was a quieter affair, with chances at both ends at a premium, although Willis had to save smartly to his right to deny Green, before Jones struck a post after turning McGahey.

Birmingham continued to press forward looking for an equaliser, but United defended resolutely and after Evans was introduced in place of Coustrain, he partnered skipper McGahey at the heart of the back four and United rarely looked troubled, although Solomon-Otabor nearly capitalised on a fumble from Willis.

In the final minutes, Calvert-Lewin almost nipped in for a second, but Townsend was alert to the danger, but it mattered not, as the referee's final whistle signalled a fourth win on the bounce for Chris Morgan's side in their penultimate clash of the season.

Blades: ​Willis, Paling, McFadzean, Dimaio, McGahey, Whiteman, Coustrain (Evans 73), Reed, Calvert-Lewin, Bywater (Wright 84), Adams (Hamilton 61).
Unused: Eastwood, Cockerline.

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