Blades 4-0 Port Vale - report
United scored four and had four more disallowed in a totally dominant performance against Port Vale.
Defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell scored twice in the first half and Mark Duffy and Stefan Scougall added more in the second period. Strikers Done and Sharp both had two goals chalked off!
Blades chief Wilder named the same starting XI from the previous League One encounter, against Fleetwood Town. There was just one change on the bench with Lavery included after injury. Visitors Vale included former Blades as their manager, assistant boss and captain in Ribeiro, Brown and Purkiss.
In the October sunshine, a lively start saw both sides enjoy an amount of endeavour going forward. The first chance saw Duffy's inswing free-kick met by O'Connell, but the defender could not find the target and Coutts shot weakly at goalkeeper Alnwick after he spotted an opening.
Foley shot wide for Port Vale, whilst United were indebted to Freeman tracking back 50-yards to prevent Grant getting a free shot at goal. A break from the resulting corner saw the Blades find the net but the lead was not forthcoming. Fleck and Duffy were instrumental in driving the play from one end to the other but Done was adjudged offside as he nodded home.
United, however, did grab the lead with the next meaningful attack. Fleck's deep corner saw EBANKS-LANDELL lose his marker and perfectly place a header beyond Alnwick's right hand.
It was the sign for United to begin to dominate for a spell. Duffy cut inside and shot wide and then another goal was disallowed on 33 minutes. Fleck's effort appeared to be deflected in by Sharp and although the referee initially gave the goal, a consultation with one of his assistants resulted in it being chalked off.
Fleck went close again moments later, his 30-yard shot was pushed around a post by Alnwick, before a second was finally added on the stroke of half-time. It was from another corner on the right, this time taken by Coutts, and Vale wasted a number of opportunities to clear before EBANKS-LANDELL hooked home from close range.
The Blades had a third goal disallowed with the first effort of the second half, Done was flagged offside when he turned in Duffy's right-wing cross.
Paterson had a shot deflected wide for the visitors but United were firmly on top and added a third just after the hour mark. On the break, Fleck carried the ball for more than 50 yards before laying off to Sharp, whose shot was blocked on the line by Purkiss but DUFFY was well-placed to smash in the rebound.
Moments later United had a fourth 'goal' disallowed, this time Sharp was called offside when he turned in O'Connell's header back across the box.
Moore, quickly off his line, made a tremendous save to thwart Jones on 77 minutes before United added a fourth through the unlikely source of Scougall's head - after all three of Wilder's substitutions contributed. Hussey and Chapman were involved on the left before Sharp challenged in the air, with the ball falling for SCOUGALL nod home from close range.
Chapman was denied by an impressive Alnwick save as United looked for a fifth but the Vale goal survived any more scares in four minutes of added time before their misery was completed.
Blades: Moore, Fleck, O'Connell, Sharp. Done (Scougall 81), Wright, Coutts, Freeman, Ebanks-Landell, Duffy (Chapman 72), Lafferty (Hussey 69).
Unused: Lavery, Ramsdale, Brown, Whiteman.
Vale: Alnwick, Purkiss, Streete, Knops, Foley (Kiko 81), Paterson (Turner 67), Smith, Jones, Amoros (Pereira 59), Grant, Hart.
Unused: Mac-Intosch, Ciclia, Mbamba, Turner, Santos.