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U21s 2-0 Birmingham - report

21 December 2015

Ryan Flynn's brace helped United's U21s to a comfortable victory over Birmingham City at Bramall Lane on Monday afternoon.


Flynn played 90 minutes as did James Wallace, Kieran Wallace, Harrison McGahey and Louis Reed in front of boss Nigel Adkins, with the Scotsman scoring once in each half to help Chris Morgan's side make it seven games unbeaten in the Professional Development League against a Birmingham side that included former Blades loanee Greg Halford.


After a quiet opening, the Blades had what appeared to be a good claim for a penalty waved away by referee Richardson, as Flynn got goal side of Bernard before being tugged down by the retreating left-back.


Just before the half hour, United had the first shot at goal, from a quickly taken free-kick, Dimaio found space 30 yards out and his dipping effort had Legzdins scrambling across his goal only for it to land inches wide.


Now in the ascendancy, the Blades attacked again with McDonagh robbing Baba before running purposefully at the visiting defence only to shoot wide having got the better of Mbende and Harding.


After Howard had saved a free-kick from Blues skipper Adams, Flynn should have opened the scoring after being freed by Dimaio, but Legdzins narrowed the angle sufficiently and got his legs to the ball at the expense of a corner.


But in the very next attack, FLYNN made amends rifling home from 25 yards on the half volley after Birmingham failed to properly clear the loose ball to give the hosts the advantage at half-time.


Cuvelier, Reed and McDonagh all had half chances for the Blades in the opening exchanges of the second period, before Birmingham made a triple change in the 65th minute with Brown, Cogley and McFarlane replacing Halford, Domingos and Cooper.


Birmingham were having some possession without forcing Howard into action and United punished them by doubling the lead in the 67th minute, James Wallace outmuscled Brown before threading a pass through to the onrushing FLYNN, who confidently round Legzdins before firing into the open net.


And moments later two nearly became three as only a last ditched block prevented McDonagh from getting on the scoresheet, with Dimaio this time the man who found a way through the visitors backline. At the other end, Brock-Madsen fired over on the volley from McFarlane's cross.


As the game entered the final 15 minutes, Cuvelier received a generous round of applause as he was replaced by Wright and from a free-kick Banton appeared to be tackled off the ball by Mbende but the referee didn't deem the contact to be enough to point to the spot.


Chances in the closing stages were at a premium and the Blades comfortably saw the game out to make it seven unbeaten in the league.


Blades: Howard, Whiteman, K. Wallace, J. Wallace, Banton, McGahey, Flynn, Dimaio, McDonagh, Reed, Cuvelier (Wright 76).
Unused: Coustrain, Ramsdale, Brooks, Phillips.