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Match Reports

Blades 1-1 Stoke - report

23 October 2018

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United remain unbeaten at Bramall Lane since the opening day of the Sky Bet Championship but were forced to settle for a share of the spoils against Stoke.

Leon Clarke's first of the season looked to have secured all three points, only for Wales international to level for the Potters with two minutes of the 90 remaining.

For the clash against Stoke, boss Wilder made one change, with Clarke replacing Sharp and subsequently taking the captain's armband too.
United were quickly out of the traps and inside 90 seconds, Freeman fired over from O'Connell's left-wing cross. Then Allen and Pieters got into a mess dealing with Freeman's low cross, that presented Fleck with a chance to shoot but his effort was deflected over by Martina.

On 12 minutes, the Blades should have hit the front. Norwood played in Duffy, but from his cutback Stevens fired over from six yards. Clarke then got the better of Williams from Stevens ball forward, but having twisted and turned, his effort was comfortably saved by Butland.

Stoke's first effort on goal came in the 27th minute, but Henderson never looked troubled by Berahino's shot. The visitors then worked a crossing opportunity down the right-flank, one that ended with Afobe heading tamely at Henderson. At the other end, McGoldrick for the better of Pieters, but his header was saved by Butland.

With half-time approaching, it was the Blades who created the best chance of the game, Duffy and Freeman were involved, before O'Connell crossed but Clarke skewered his shot wide from point-blank range. Butland again came to Stoke's rescue to deny McGoldrick, after the striker had fashioned an opening from a cross-field pass.

The Blades were quickly out of traps in the second-half and McGoldrick just couldn't get a clean shot away from a promising position. With the hour mark approaching, Martina crossed to the back post where McLean got a run on Freeman but headed over.

With 20 minutes remaining, United forced themselves into the lead. Martins Indi was booked for a foul on CLARKE and from the resulting free-kick, the striker scored from close-range, after Norwood's shot had smashed into the post. At the other end, Henderson was equally to Ince's left-footed effort after he'd got the better of O'Connell.

With four minutes remaining, United made a double change, with Washington and Stearman replacing McGoldrick and Duffy, but Stoke levelled when play restarted, with ALLEN firing home a free-kick from 25-yards out.

Four minutes added time were signalled, and Coutts was introduced in the first of those replacing Freeman. Fleck had a shot blocked and appeals for a penalty waved away, with Stevens seeing yellow the last action of note.

Blades: Henderson, Stevens, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Sharp, Egan, Norwood, McGoldrick (Washington 86), Freeman (Coutts 90), Duffy (Stearman 86).
Unused: Clarke, Johnson, Moore, Cranie.

Stoke: Butland, Pieters (Bojan 81), Allen, Williams, Ince, Afobe, McClean, Martins Indi, Berahino (Crouch 66), Martina (Edwards 81), Woods.
Unused: Adam, Shawcross, Fletcher, Federici.

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