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Match Reports

Rotherham 1-2 Blades - report

21 July 2017

The Blades made it four wins from four in pre-season with a hard-working success at local rivals Rotherham United.

Boss Wilder named the same team that started against Malaga the previous week, which meant Lafferty replaced Stevens in the only change from the midweek success over Chesterfield. Baldock (ankle), Hanson (thigh) and Evans (hip) were deemed not fit enough to feature.

Wearing the new purple away shirt, a couple of neat and quick passing moves saw United get around the back of the Rotherham defence but the first serious chance saw the home side's Taylor whip in a free-kick which evaded his team-mates.

On nine minutes, O'Connell, Stearman, Fleck and Carruthers were all involved in putting Clarke through but his clip over the goalkeeper also beat the crossbar.

United's plans were hampered on 15 minutes, though, when goalkeeper Moore dropped to the deck and was carried off on a stretcher moments later. Youngster Eastwood took over in goal.
O'Donnell saved from Lafferty and soon after Eastwood made his first save, dropping to his left to keep out Ball's shot. A Rotherham break then saw Taylor's shot deflected just wide.

As half-time approached, Sharp and Fleck went close and at the other end Eastwood had to turn over a Mattock header after a succession of corners.

Sharp was replaced by Lavery, who won a corner inside a minute of coming on, from which O'Connell's back post header was clawed away by Rotherham's substitute goalkeeper, Price.

From Fleck's free-kick, Basham sliced over after O'Connell nodded down and then United's Eastwood was forced into two saves in three minutes, firstly from Vaulks and then Moore, who was in the clear after a one-two with Ball.

The last contribution of Carruthers was to half-volley just wide after Lavery and Clarke linked up before a triple substitution saw Wright, Stevens and Brooks introduced.

The first contribution of Brooks was to have a hand in the opening goal, on 68 minutes. He timed his pass to Basham perfectly and the subsequent cross was deflected into his own net by IHIEKWE.

Duffy was introduced as Brooks also assisted United's second on 80 minutes, putting the game out of Rotherham's reach. A chip over the defence from the youngster saw Fisher fail to clear and STEVENS took advantage knock home the loose ball from close range.

Rotherham's efforts were rewarded with a goal on 86 minutes, YATES curling into the corner of the net after good work on the left by Forde and Purrington, but the 3,674 Blades fans in the crowd of 7,396 went home happy, celebrating a fourth with of pre-season.

Rotherham: O'Donnell, Emmanuel, Mattock, Vaulks, Ajayi, Frecklington, Da Ball, Taylor, Potter, Ihiekwe, Moore.
Subs: Wood, Forde, Price, Do Ball, Fisher, Purrington, Clarke-Harris, Yats, Newell, Belaid, Bray.

Blades: Moore (Eastwood 16), Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Clarke (Duffy 77), Sharp (Lavery 45), Coutts, Freeman, Stearman (Wright 65), Lafferty (Stevens 65), Carruthers (Brooks 65).
Unused: Thomas, Slater.

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