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Macclesfield 0-4 Blades - report

29 July 2015

United's unbeaten pre-season continued with a comprehensive and comfortable win at Macclesfield Town on Wednesday evening.

Nigel Adkins now has four victories and a draw with Premiership Newcastle United on his record after the success over the Vanarama National League Silkmen.

An own goal got the ball rolling, whilst Billy Sharp and Che Adams (2) were also on target as eight players got full 90-minute workouts under their belts.

Sharp made his first appearance since re-signing and partnered fellow new boy Sammon in attack in the penultimate senior pre-season friendly. Howard started after his recent thigh problem, but Murphy and McNulty were not risked after picking up knocks on Sunday, although both are expected to train later this week. The bench at Moss Rose saw a number of development players named as cover.

The Blades created two chances in the opening 15 minutes, Campbell-Ryce was involved in both, and raced into a two-goal lead. On 11 minutes, the winger supplied a curling free-kick which DIAGNE headed into his own net, whilst two minutes later Campbell-Ryce rolled the ball down the right channel for SHARP to turn and shoot past Branagan in one swift movement.

Sharp also headed wide and thought he deserved a penalty from Diagne's foul on 27 minutes but the referee disagreed. At the other end, Howard was barely troubled and United's first problem was when Campbell-Ryce limped out of the action.

Macclesfield's first serious effort was the last action of the half but Lewis was under pressure from McEveley as he headed towards goal and Howard comfortably claimed.

Early in the second half good work from Adams created an opportunity for Baxter, who sidefooted over the crossbar, whilst for the home side Rowe drilled wide after a half-cleared corner.

United's third goal, just after the hour was an impressive effort. It began with Howard clipping out to McFadzean, with Basham, Baxter and Woolford all involved before ADAMS sent the goalkeeper the wrong way with a well-executed strike.

Sammon and Sharp were replaced in the second half in pre-planned moves, but United's attacking intent continued. Freeman went close from Khan's cross and a McEveley run and trick pleased the travelling support.

With 15 minutes to go Adams sidefooted wide after Freeman broke Macclesfield's offside trap and the closing stages continued with United on the offensive, which was rewarded with a fourth goal in the final minute. Collins played a pass down the right channel and ADAMS held off Halls before slotting into the far corner, right in front of the Blades fans who had made the trip.

Macclesfield: Branagan, Halls, Haynes-Brown, Byrne, Diagne, Whitehead, Whitaker, Lewis, Holroyd, Marsden, Rowe. Subs: Cowan, Eve, Bailey-Jones, Poole, Bailey, Gnahoua.

Blades: Howard, Freeman, Collins, McEveley, McFadzean, Campbell-Ryce (Adams 37), Basham, Baxter, Woolford, Sharp (Khan 65), Sammon (Higdon 53).
Unused: Long, Coustrain, Banton, Kelly.

Attendance 999 (551 Blades)

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