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Club News

U23s 3-2 Hartlepool - report

24 November 2016

The Blades maintained their 100% record in the Central League Cup with a magnificent second-half fightback against Hartlepool United at the SteelPhalt Academy on Thursday afternoon.

After a lacklustre first-half the Blades trailed 2-0 at the interval, but a hat-trick from substitute Kimarni Smith in the second period saw the hosts side run out worthy winners in the end.

Academy Manager Travis Binnion was delighted with the victory, but acknowledged United must start games better in the future.

Binnion remarked: "It was certainly was a game of two halves. We were woeful in the first 30 minutes and deservedly found ourselves with a two-goal deficit which could have been more.

"We had plenty of the ball, but we squandered possession too much and kept getting caught on the counter attack.

"We changed our shape at the break and made a substitution and although it was Kimarni who takes all the plaudits with his three goals, the likes of Louis Reed and David Brooks got on the ball and enabled us to dominate the game, whilst Jake Wright was a constant threat.

"We were in control at the back and having given ourselves a mountain to climb we thoroughly deserved the victory which leaves us in an excellent position in the competition, having previously won at Newcastle.

"But moving forward we have to start games better, we start positively in the U18s, but for some reason at this level we are too slow out of the traps."

For the clash against Pool, United named three trialists in the starting XI, with Jake Bennett, Brandon McCarthy and Thomas McAloon all featuring.

But with the Blades two goals adrift at the break, McCarthy was replaced by SMITH, who got the Blades back into the game just after the hour scoring on the rebound after his header from Wright's right-wing cross was saved by Catterick.

Ten minutes later, parity was restored with SMITH sending Catterick the wrong way from with a clever, well disguised finish from the edge of the area after the Pool's stopper had initially denied Wright.

And the comeback was completed with 11 minutes remaining, as SMITH won the game for the Blades reacting quickest to the loose ball after Brooks had seen his penalty saved by Catterick following a foul on Wright in the box.

Blades: Long, Bennett, Kelly, Whiteman (Gordon 64), Graham, Semple, McCarthy (K. Smith 45), Reed, Wright, Brooks, McAloon (Hawkes 83).
Unused: Cummings, Perryman.

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