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U21s 1-0 Cardiff - report

10 April 2015

United's U21s recorded a third win on the spin with a deserved victory over Cardiff City at Bramall Lane on Friday afternoon.

Che Adams scored the all-important goal in the first-half and in the end, the Blades margin of victory could have been greater, as Michael Higdon completed 63 minutes in his bid to return to full fitness.

As the teams emerged from the tunnel, there was one change to United's advertised starting XI with Banton replacing Coustrain.

After a quiet opening, it was the Blades that created the first chance, Higdon and Calvert-Lewin combined before the latter saw his left-footed shot saved by O'Reilly. Moments later Adams broke free down the left but his deep cross evaded his onrushing team-mates.

Cardiff had a handful of half chances as the first-half progressed with Johnson and Pilkington drawing saves from Willis, whilst Roche was a live threat down the left-wing for the Bluebirds.

But having shaded the first-half it was the Blades that opened the scoring in the 35th minute. Dimaio started the move on the right and after good hold-up play from Higdon, United's number 4 crossed to the back post where ADAMS was unmarked to fire home from close range.

Before the half drew to a close, Higdon saw an effort blocked on the line by James after Calvert-Lewin had got in behind the City defence and in the second phase Bywater fired inches wide.

United started the second-half brightly and Khan
whipped in an inviting centre from the right wing, before Dimaio headed just wide following Higdon's flick on from McFadzean's long throw.

Higdon was replaced by McDonagh just after the hour and it was the home side that continued to look the most likely to extend their lead, although goalscoring opportunities were very much at a premium.

As the game entered the final 15 minutes, Willis had to be alert at his near post to tip Johnson's powerful volley round the post after City's number 9 had latched onto James's long ball forward. In the visitors next attack, it was Banton who had to make a timely intervention to deny that man Johnson.

At the other end, Calvert-Lewin tried an ambitious lob that landed on the roof of the net before Adams shot straight at the keeper following a swift counter attack.

United finished firmly on the front foot and Whiteman struck the post before McDonagh failed to score on the rebound from close range, as United make it three wins and three clean sheets on the bounce.

Blades: Willis, Khan, McFadzean, Dimaio, McGahey, Whiteman, Adams, Bywater, Higdon (McDonagh 63), Calvert-Lewin, Banton.
Unused: Evans, Eastwood, Paling.

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