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Match Reports

Blades v Coventry

5 April 2017

Blades 2-0 Coventry - report

The Blades enhanced their position at the top of Sky Bet EFL League One on Wednesday night with another home victory to nil.

Second-half goals from substitute Leon Clarke and John Fleck saw United make it 12 matches unbeaten as Coventry City were the latest opposition to be put to the sword.
For the midweek clash against the Checkatrade Trophy winners, boss Wilder named an unchanged side, keeping faith with the starting XI and substitutes that beat Millwall.

Having received a raucous welcome, following a delayed kick-off, the opening exchanges saw goalscoring opportunities at a premium. Bigirimana fired over for the visitors, whilst United just failed to get on the end of a couple of crosses into the penalty area. Hanson then got the better of Turnbull, before seeing a shot saved comfortably by Burge.

The crowd were giving the players their full backing and after a brief spell of concerted pressure, Lafferty curled an effort into the side-netting. United had now got a firm grip of the game and in the 23rd minute could have gone in front. Coutts played a ball into the box that found an unmarked Fleck at the back post but his cutback was fired over by Hanson, under pressure from Clarke.

As the first-half entered it's final ten minutes, Bigirimana was the first player to be booked for a late foul on Duffy. One minute of added time was signalled, but that passed without incident to leave the scores level at the break.

City were forced into a change at the interval with Willis being replaced by Stevenson and it was the visitors who had the first effort of the second period, Jones firing over after good work by Bigirimana. United responded by making a positive double change. Clarke and Carruthers replaced Wright and Duffy and immediately Sharp hit a left-footed volley narrowly wide.

The Blades skipper thought he had opened the scoring in the 55th minute, but the linesman had already flagged Clarke offside. At the other end, the Blades had a let off when Lameiras favoured tamely at Moore, after a fortuitous bounce.

But Bramall Lane erupted in the 70th minute, as the Blades opened the scoring in front of the Kop. A well worked throw-in on the left saw Fleck find space and his drilled cross fell perfectly for CLARKE to tap home at the back post having got in front of his marker.

And the home supporters only had to wait five minutes for a second. FLECK went from provider to scorer, driving at his former employers, before firing past Burge with his right to raise the noise a further notch and give United a two-goal advantage.

With 11 minutes remaining, skipper Sharp received a standing ovation as he was replaced by O'Shea. As the clock ticked down, Hanson fired over, before Carruthers and O'Shea nearly combined to release Clarke.

Four minutes of added time were played out as the Blades won for the 15th time at home in the league this season.

Blades: Moore, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Sharp (O'Shea 79) Wright (Clarke 52), Coutts, Hanson, Freeman, Duffy (Carruthers 52), Lafferty.
Unused: Long, Done, Wilson, Chapman.

Coventry: Burge, Willis (Stevenson 45), Stokes, Turnbull, Bigirimana, Clarke, Lameiras, Jones, Tudgay, Foley, Haynes (Thomas 79).
Unused: Beavon, Folivi, Rawson, Charles-Cook, Kelly-Evans.

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