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Match Reports

Blades v Wimbledon

4 February 2017

Blades 4-0 Wimbledon - report

Four different scorers paved the way to a comfortable home victory for the Blades.


Skipper Billy Sharp kicked off the goal glut with his 19th of the season and debutant James Hanson added the second. After the break John Fleck added the third and substitute Caolan Lavery completed the scoring in injury-time.


Wilder made two changes from the last fixture, bringing in striker Hanson for his debut, whilst the experienced Wright was recalled at the back. O'Shea and Carruthers were named amongst the substitutes.


Hanson's first header indirectly paved the way to United opening the scoring inside two minutes. It put Wimbledon under pressure down their left and forced Barcham to foul Freeman. From Fleck's subsequent free-kick, SHARP nipped in and scored at the second attempt after Shea's initial save.


A lull after the goal saw United on top without causing too many problems for the visitors, for whom Elliott was busy in attack. Wimbledon's first chance, on 16 minutes, saw Reeves shoot at Moore from distance and the Blades hit back with Duffy turning inside Bulman but Shea saved comfortably.


A series of one twos involving Freeman, Coutts, Hanson and Duffy was eye-catching but a subsequent cross was cleared and another long-range Wimbledon effort saw Bulman fail to find the target.
As half-time approached, Freeman and Hanson then put the visitors under pressure. The wing-back delivered a deflected cross from which the big striker headed onto the roof of the net but soon after it was 2-0.


On 37 minutes, Duffy ran at the Wimbledon defence before laying off to Freeman and his cutback saw HANSON smash home, despite the efforts of a defender on the line.


There was another Blades chance before the interval following Kelly's foul on Freeman. A rehearsed routine saw Duffy's low delivery and Sharp's effort blocked before the half-time whistle.


Basham replaced Ebanks-Landell at the break and the early pressure came from the away side, although the chances fell to the Blades and Sharp! The skipper had three chances inside five minutes but twice he missed the target under pressure and his deft chip from Duffy's cross was collected by goalkeeper Shea.


The opportunities continued for United. From Fleck's cross, Lafferty's flicked header was wide and Duffy's central free-kick was just wide, although Shea was at full stretch.


Taylor's flicked header was wide as Moore powered off his line in a rare Wimbledon attack but the Blades were soon back on the offensive and after Fleck had robbed Fuller, Duffy stung the palms of Shea on 67 minutes.


As the second half progressed, the Blades continued to be in control. Fleck fired over after Basham overpowered Elliott and then Lavery replaced Sharp. The sub was soon involved. On 79 minutes, Lavery pressured Charles and Hanson laid off to FLECK, who showed great close control before shooting low past Shea at the Kop end.


Carruthers was introduced for his home debut late on and had plenty of touches as United continued to force Wimbledon back. Just before the referee's watch turned round to 90 minutes a speculative shot from Taylor forced a save from Moore.


Three minutes of added time was announced but the Blades were not finished. Fleck's firm pass saw Carruthers lay into the path of LAVERY, who cut inside his marker before firing into corner of Shea's net.


It was the final notable action before the referee's final whistle signalled that United had returned to the summit of League One.


Blades: Moore, Fleck, O'Connell, Sharp (Lavery 77), Wright, Coutts, Hanson, Freeman, Ebanks-Landell (Basham 45), Duffy (Carruthers 83), Lafferty.
Unuesed: Long, Done, Riley, O'Shea.


Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Bulman (Francomb 63), Robinson, Reeves, Elliott, Soares, Barcham (Poleon 63), Kelly, Charles, Taylor.
Unused: Barnett, McDonnell, Egan, Owens, Robertson.


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