Blades 1-0 Peterborough - report
United's excellent run in EFL League One continued with a deserved victory over Peterborough United at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
Matt Done's first-half strike proved decisive in an entertaining clash against Grant McCann's side, with goalkeeper Simon Moore and his defence deservedly getting a first clean sheet of the season for their efforts, with Moore in particular in fine form as the Blades notched a fourth consecutive victory.
Boss Wilder named an unchanged team for the clash against Posh, faith with the starting XI that beat AFC Wimbledon last time out. There was one change on the bench though with Caolan Lavery taking the place of Leon Clarke, who missed out with an ankle problem.
On a lovely afternoon at the Lane, the Blades started positively. Sharp fired over from Done's right-wing cross, then in the 10th minute, only a fine reflex save from McGee denied Done from Freeman's pinpoint delivery.
Peterborough didn't heed the warning signs though and in the 13th minute from another excellent cross from Freeman the Blades went ahead as DONE got across Baldwin before finishing well past McGee at the near post. The home side continued to attack, this time Freeman went from provider to shooter, volleying over from Basham's lob forward.
But with 34 minutes gone, the visitors came close to restoring parity twice in quick succession. Firstly, following a swift break led by Forrester and Da Silva, Taylor at the second attempt forced Moore into a full length save diving away to his right, then moments later the same player tested the United stopper to his left. Peterborough were starting to get a grip of the game and in the next attack, Maddison fired an inviting cross across the face of goal but luckily for the Blades it evaded Nichols at the back post.
The remained of the first period saw Peterborough probed in a bid for an equaliser, but marshalled by Wright, United's backline withstood the pressure.
United made a change at the break, with Scougall replacing Lafferty, a substitution that saw Duffy switch to the left. And the move almost reaped instant reward, as Duffy side stepped Smith before curling a right-footed effort narrowly wide with McGee appearing beaten. In response, Maddison fired wide for Posh.
The game continued to be an end-to-end affair, with United, namely Scougall having two sights of goal inside the space of a minute. From distance he stung the palms of McGhee, before shooting over from Ebanks-Landell's lay-off. On the hour, Peterborough opted to make a triple change, prior to skipper Sharp being the first to be carded.
The visitors thought they had levelled with 26 minutes remaining, as substitute Moore crossed from the right and found the run of the advancing Edwards, but thankfully for the Blades Moore was at his best, standing tall and saving with his legs. Then came a flurry of bookings, Basham was booked for a mistimed challenge on Forrester, before Moncur saw yellow for a high boot on Ebanks-Landell, then Coutts completed the trio for a trip on Chettle.
With 12 minutes remaining, Fleck entered the fray, replacing Duffy. Peterborough continued to make chances, with Bostwick the latest to try his luck from distance after he had stepped forward onto Smith's pass. At the other end, Done lobbed wide after some indecision amongst the visitors backline.
In the 84th minute, skipper Sharp received a standing ovation as did his replacement Lavery, who was making his Blades debut. Done's powerful running was keeping the Posh defence honest, whilst giving United an outlet.
Five minutes of added time were signalled and Ebanks-Landell was yellow carded for apparent time wasting. Back on the front foot, Coutts won a corner with a deflected shot after a purposeful run forward and Posh skipper Smith was booked for dissent as the Blades saw out the remaining injury-time to secure a fourth consecutive victory.
Blades: Moore, O'Connell, Basham, Sharp (Lavery 84), Done, Wright, Coutts, Freeman, Ebanks-Landell, Duffy (Fleck 78), Lafferty (Scougall 45).
Unused: Hussey, Ramsdale, Wilson, Chapman.
Peterborough: McGee, Smith, Bostwick, Baldwin, Forrester, Taylor (Edwards 59), Maddison, Da Silva Lopes (Chettle 59), Nichols (Moore 59), Binnom-Williams, Moncur.
Unused: Tafazolli, Tyler, White, Oduwa.