Port Vale 0-3 Blades - report
The Blades moved through the 90-points mark by completing the double over Port Vale.
First half goals from Jay O'Shea and Leon Clarke, plus an injury-time strike from Matt Done, were enough to beat Michael Brown's Vale to make it a Good Friday for Chris Wilder and his team.
United's hard-working wing-backs got a rest for the clash, with Basham and Done taking the wide roles. Ebanks-Landell and Sharp were recalled. Freeman, Lafferty and Carruthers dropped to the bench. Hanson missed out with a calf problem.
A neat passing move earned the Blades a corner inside two minutes and the visitors were soon ahead. A Coutts delivery was too long for the crowded box but Basham picked up possession at the back post and played a pass through two defenders for O'SHEA to drill through the home goalkeeper from an acute angle.
Vale were restricted to just two long-range efforts inside the opening 15 minutes. Taylor's shot was comfortable for Moore and Kiko's fizzing blast was just over the crossbar from 30 yards.
Sharp could not get enough on a Coutts cross and Hooper went close with a near post header from Taylor's free-kick before the Blades doubled the lead on the half hour. Again, Basham's persistence paved the way and from his cross, CLARKE, positioned on the penalty spot, volleyed first time into the top corner.
The remainder of the half saw the Blades the biggest threat. From an O'Shea cross, Sharp held the ball up but Fleck shot wide and then, on the stroke of half-time, O'Shea and Basham linked up well ahead of Bikey having to clear over his own crossbar.
A frantic start to the second half saw the home side go close to reducing the arrears within 30 seconds but Moore made an impressive save from Foley, who then claimed Done had handled in the build-up - no penalty was forthcoming.
A mistake in the Vale defence saw Clarke go clear but Mehmet saved with his legs, whilst a misunderstanding between Clarke and Done presented an opportunity to Smith but again the Blades goalkeeper saved.
Freeman and Chapman were introduced as the tempo subsided. The chances dried up as the final whistle neared. Chapman twice put the ball in the visitors net but on both occasions, a referee's whistle had been blown well in advance.
Late on Clarke blasted over before being replaced by McNulty. But there was late action for the 4,330 Blades fans to enjoy. A Coutts cross-field ball saw Freeman get the better of his marker and the subsequent low cross saw DONE arrive in perfect time to direct into the bottom corner.
Another three points to the tally.
Vale: Mehmet, Purkiss (Reeves 37), Taylor, Cicilia, Hooper (Turner 78), Foley, Pugh, Kiko, Smith, Bikey, Eagles (Kelly 84).
Unused: Streete, Tanser, DeFreitas, Fasan.
Blades: Moore, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Sharp (Chapman 71), Done, Wright, Coutts, Ebanks-Landell, O'Shea (Freeman 55), Clarke (McNulty 90).
Unused: Long, Duffy, Lafferty, Carruthers.