Port Vale 2-1 Blades - report
Two first half goals paved the way to Port Vale's victory over the Blades on Saturday afternoon.
Byron Moore and Uche Ikpeazu netted but had Billy Sharp, denied by a tremendous save, netted with a great chance early in the second half the result could have been very different.
Matty Done, on his first appearance of the season, netted after the allotted period of injury-time but it proved to be no more than a consolation.
Baxter returned to the starting line-up as Adkins made just one change for the trip, Reed dropped to the bench, where he was joined by Adams, Campbell-Ryce and McEveley.
United, in green, began well. On five minutes Basham linked up with Sammon but the resulting shot was deflected wide and from the resulting corner, Edgar's header was over. Sammon then lifted a ball over the defence for Sharp, who could not shake off Duffy and fired wide.
Vale registered a couple of half chances but opened the scoring with their first serious opportunity on 17 minutes. From Andoh's cross, Howard saved Ikpeazu's header but the striker recycled possession and found MOORE to slot home from close-range.
Straight from the restart the Blades looked to hit back and all the visiting side's chances before the break fell to Sharp. Firstly he scuffed Flynn's pass wide, then fired at goalkeeper Alnwick and then, on 40 minutes, Sharp almost got on the end of Flynn's diagonal cross.
United's luck in front of goal was not mirrored at the other end. As the clock ticked around to 45 minutes, IKPEAZU, with three players around him, managed to skip away with the ball into a shooting position and his shot beat Howard via the underside of the crossbar.
The Blades made a double change at the break - Kennedy and Adams introduced - and the travelling fans were soon wondering how the deficit was not halved on 47 minutes. Sammon got the better of Duffy and his cross for Sharp was perfect but the leading scorer's sidefooted effort from inside the six yard box was saved and stuck to the body of Alnwick.
Sammon fired over from the edge of the box as the Blades stayed on the offensive, whilst Adams tried to curl around the goalkeeper, who made another save. On 58 minutes, Collins headed a Baxter corner onto the roof of the net.
For the home side, Ikpeazu got the better of Kennedy but could only find the roof of the net and referee Salisbury turned down two appeals for penalties when Daniel and Andoh fell in the space of a few minutes, whilst United introduced Done on the hour.
Moore hammered against the crossbar following a melee in the Blades box and despite the visitors having the majority of possession, Vale's defensive unit tightened up to stem the chances.
In the final ten minutes, Alnwick denied Sharp once more following an Adams corner and Moore went close for the home side before the the Blades netted a consolation with virtually the last kick of the game.
From a left wing corner, DONE had three efforts, the second came back off the crossbar, before he fired home the loose ball but the final whistle moments later signalled another miserable result at Vale Park.
Vale: Alnwick, Purkiss, Dickinson, Streete, Duffy, Ikpeazu (Dodds 74), Foley, Daniel (Leitch-Smith 90), Moore, Andoh, Grant.
Unused: Johnson, McGivern, Birchall, Hooper, Brown.
Blades: Howard, Freeman, Basham, Flynn (Adams 45), Coutts (Done 60), Sharp, Baxter, Collins, Sammon, K Wallace, Edgar (Kennedy 45).
Unused: McEveley, Campbell-Ryce, Reed, Long.