Blades 2-0 Chesterfield - report
Che Adams scored early in both halves as the Blades got off the mark in Sky Bet League One, defeating local rivals Chesterfield
In the first competitive home game for the new Desso pitch and Nigel Adkins, teenager Adams stole the show, twice benefitting from assists from Connor Sammon.
Howard was given the nod between the posts, whilst home debutant Edgar, Collins and McEveley all started, the latter at left-back. There were a total of four changes from the midweek win at Morecambe.
Before kick-off there was a moving tribute to former Blade Alan Woodward, who we lost during the summer months, and then a stirring rendition of the Greasy Chip Butty anthem, and it did the trick...
United took less three minutes to open the scoring with the first meaningful attack. Sammon's shot was saved by Lee but the ball dropped invitingly for ADAMS, who started the move, to hammer home in front of the travelling fans.
On the break, Sharp had a chance to double the lead but he fired wide from the edge of the box as the home defence backed off, whilst Chesterfield won a number of corners in the opening 15 minutes. From the second phase of one of the set-pieces, Edgar had to clear in front of Novak after Evatt had sneaked around the back of McEveley.
The opening 20 minutes were frantic and Chesterfield had other opportunities to level but Freeman deflected away Gardner's shot and McEveley blocked from O'Shea. A Morsy effort was also straight at Howard around the half-hour mark.
As half-time approached, Novak was allowed to run but Howard saved at his near post and Sharp and Adams, both major threats to the Spireites in the first half, remained prominent with Hird picking up a booking as he crudely stopped the goalscorer.
He took less than three minutes in the first half but just 60 seconds after the break as the lead was doubled before Chesterfield could regain their composure. It was the same duo who linked up as ADAMS played a one-two with Sammon before sliding the ball under Lee in front of the Kop.
Twice, in the space of minutes, Edgar prevented Novak from getting clean shots away in good positions, whilst the pairing of Sammon and Adams linked up again on 57 minutes but Lee prevented a hat-trick with a save with his legs.
Sammon created another chance soon after, grafting to keep Howard's long kick alive before laying off to Scougall, whose shot was saved by Lee, whilst in the space of just over ten minutes, Adkins introduced three sets of fresh legs.
Chesterfield's best chance of the second half saw Novak's free-kick bounce and then hit the crossbar before United scrambled clear but Lee was the busier of the two goalkeepers. Chesterfield's number one pushed Sharp's effort around a post and then was fouled by Collins as Sammon rifled home a loose ball after Basham's header was cleared off the line.
The visitors introduced substitutes as they looked for a way back into the game and Howard was forced to push away a dangerous Jones free-kick. They lumped a number of balls into the box but United defended resolutely.
Five minutes of added time annoyed Blades fans but there was little to worry about it as United comfortably held out for a deserved success.
Blades: Howard, Freeman, Basham, Sharp, Baxter (J Wallace 58), Collins, Scougall (Reed 69), Sammon, McEveley, Adams (Woolford 66).
Unused: McNulty, Campbell-Ryce, Long, K Wallace.
Chesterfield: Lee, Jones, Hird, Morsy, Evatt, Gardner (Gnanduillet 82), Ebanks-Blake, O'Shea, Novak, Banks (Ariyibi 69), Talbot (Raglan 82).
Unused: Humphreys, Onovwigun, Orrell, Cairns.