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Match Reports

MK Dons v Blades

22 April 2017

MK Dons 0-3 Blades - report

With one game to play, United moved onto 97 Sky Bet League One points with an emphatic success at MK Dons.

Leon Clarke scored his sixth in five games, whilst Billy Sharp netted twice in the second half to take his season total to 29 and his career tally to 201.

The victory, in front of 7,251 travelling fans, was also United's 10th double of the campaign - a record for the Blades.

There was some confusion at kick-off time as the Blades made a very late change. Ebanks-Landell was named on the teamsheet, replacing Wright, who fell ill overnight, but the Wolves loanee suffered a hamstring problem in the warm-up. Wilson started and United were left with six substitutions.

It did not affect United's start and Basham and O'Connell were both prominent in getting forward from their central defensive positions. Coutts was also involved heavily early on, having a hand in the first two chances. On nine minutes the midfielder played a pass through the defence for Basham, who battled through a tackle and laid off for Sharp to strike against a post. Coutts then orchestrated a move that saw Lafferty shoot wide from outside the box.

There was also an O'Connell shot from outside the box before MK Dons hit back with two efforts in as many minutes. Barnes cut in from the right and his deflected shot off Basham looped up over the top right corner of Moore's net. From the resulting set-piece, the away side half cleared but Lewington remained forward and curled an effort beyond the Blades goalkeeper and against a post.

Barnes looked lively for the home side but chances close to the break dried up at both ends...until the one and only minute of added time. Freeman won a corner and from Fleck's delivery, CLARKE rose highest to head home to delight the travelling fans.

Early in the second half Barnes caused United problems again, battling through O'Connell and Basham before forcing a save out of Moore. The Dons also won a number of early corners and there was an appeal for a penalty when Wilson and Walsh clashed.

Clarke curled just wide after a brave header by Lafferty and Dons old boy Carruthers was the first change, replacing Duffy.

The next substitution was Done taking over from Wilson, which meant a change in role for Lafferty, and the Blades were still adjusting when Agard headed over a Muirhead cross.
United's next opportunity saw the lead doubled, although there was a little help. Williams attempted to cushion a Coutts pass back to his goalkeeper but could only lay the ball into the path of SHARP, who hammered home in front of the travelling fans.

Patient moves and decent passes created opportunities for Done and Carruthers, whilst Moore saved from Agard. Carruthers also set up Fleck as the entered the final 15 minutes but Nicholls saved.

United were not done, though, a third was added on 81 minutes. Coutts won possession in midfield and lifted the ball over the line of defenders for SHARP to race on and half-volley home.

Chapman was introduced late on, giving Freeman a breather, whilst the Dons changed their goalkeeper in injury time for sentimental reasons, but the Blades comfortably secured three points in the final away trip in League One.

MK Dons: Nicholls (Martin 90), Baldock, Lewington, Walsh, Upson, Potter (Thomas-Asante 72), O'Keefe, Williams, Agard, Muirhead (Reeves 86), Barnes.
Unused: Rasulo, Brittain, Downing, Tilney.

Blades: Moore, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Sharp, Coutts, Freeman (Chapman 88), Wilson (Done 63), Duffy (Carruthers 55), Lafferty, Clarke.
Unused: Long, McNulty, Scougall, Done.

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