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Match Reports

Reading 0-2 Blades - report

8 December 2018

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Two goals in the final ten minutes secured three valuable and deserved points for the Blades at Reading.

Skipper Billy Sharp stepped off the bench to open the scoring and the second was credited as an own goal from Sam Baldock - brother of George.

Wilder made a couple of changes with Lundstram and Washington returning to the starting line-up for the televised clash. They took over from Duffy and Sharp, who dropped to the bench. Norwood again skippered the Blades.

Arguably, Reading were the faster out of the blocks but Gunter hammered their only chance of the first 10 minutes over the crossbar. For United, Basham forced a foul out of Rinomhota on the edge of the box but Norwood's free-kick flew over.

On 11 minutes United had the ball in the net but were denied the lead by a linesman's flag. Fleck's corner was flicked on by Egan and Washington added a touch but was in an offside position when doing so.

United stayed on top and went close again on 14 minutes but McGoldrick was unable to chip goalkeeper Jaakkola after a neat Norwood pass. Despite the visitors appearing to have more possession, the home side did look a threat on the break, particularly down the flanks.

The Blades had a second 'goal' disallowed for offside on 32 minutes. The same linesman raised his flag to deny McGoldrick, who flicked home Baldock's near post cross.

Later in the half Reading worked a couple of half-chances but efforts from McNulty and Bacuna were blocked and Sims fired over from distance after finding space.

Duffy replaced Lundstram for the second half and United quickly got on top. Home stopper Jaakkola pushed away a McGoldrick shot and from the resulting corner Gunter headed a Basham effort off the line.

The chances continued. Washington headed wide a McGoldrick cross and a patient move down the right resulted in Fleck firing over.

Sharp replaced Washington on the hour and United remained the likelier to score. Two headers three minutes apart were close. Jaakkola saved McGoldrick's effort following Baldock's cross and Sharp nodded inches wide at the near post from Fleck's delivery.

On 77 minutes, a Sharp effort was deflected wide following a break but he was not to be denied as the game entered the final ten minutes.

United kept possession down the right, allowing Basham to get around the back of the home defence and his cross was deflected, maybe taking a touch off McGoldrick, before SHARP bundled home at the back post.

It was the least United deserved but the scoring was not over. On 87 minutes, Fleck's corner from the right saw O'Connell put the home defence under pressure and the final touch came from Reading's BALDOCK - brother of United defender George - to beat Jaakkola.

The second goal extinguished any hopes the home side had of a revival and the remaining minutes - plus three added - were comfortably negotiated before the Blades headed back north.

Reading: Jaakkola, Gunter, Yiadom, Bacuna, McCleary (Aluko 86), Sims (Barrow 64), Ilori, Blackett, McNulty (Baldock 64), Rinomhota, Loader.
Unused: Mannone, Swift, Kelly, McIntyre.

Blades: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Lundstram (Duffy 45), Egan, Norwood, McGoldrick, Washington (Sharp 60).
Unused: Coutts, Stearman, Johnson, Moore, Cranie.

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