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Match Reports

Blades 2-0 Bolton - report

2 February 2019

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Goals from David McGoldrick and skipper Billy Sharp were enough to see off Bolton Wanderers at a bitterly cold Bramall Lane.

After a frustrating opening 45 minutes, the Blades seized control of the game after the break and ran out comfortable winners in the end.

For the clash against Bolton, boss Wilder made two changes, with Duffy and McGoldrick returning. Dowell and Madine dropped to the bench, where they were joined by new boy Hogan.

After a slow start by both sides, it was United who fashioned the first chance, Duffy got in behind but his attempted cross for Sharp was intercepted by Hobbs at the expense of a corner. In the Blades next attack Sharp latched onto O'Connell's ball but his was denied by Matthews.

United continued to attempt to force the issue and only a timely block denied a sweetly struck effort by Stevens from troubling Matthews. The visitors then got lucky in their own penalty area, as Hobbs managed to deflect a Stevens effort that was destined for Sharp back to his grateful goalkeeper.

The home faithful were urging the Blades forward, but another effort was frustratingly blocked as McGoldrick found space on the edge of the box. Next to try his luck was Fleck, but again it was deflected wide for a corner.

For all the Blades dominance in the first-half, it was Bolton who created the first opening of the second, but Henderson was equal to Donaldson's header from Connell's deep cross.
But in the 56th minute, the Blades broke the deadlock. Baldock's ball down the channel saw Sharp outmuscle Hobbs, before unselfishly squaring for MCGOLDRICK to slide home into an empty net.

The first yellow card of the afternoon was brandished to Connolly for a nasty lunge on Fleck. Bolton looked to restore parity and had a chance, but Basham just about managed to block Ameobi's effort from close-range. United responded with a chance at the other end, but Fleck fired high and wide after Sharp had teed him up.

With 17 minutes left, SHARP deservedly got himself on the scoresheet to double the Blades advantage, heading home Norwood's inch perfect free-kick from the right. Stearman and Madine were introduced in quick succession, replacing Duffy and McGoldrick respectively.

Three minutes of injury-time were signalled by the fourth official and Dowell almost found the head of Madine to add a third in front of the Kop, but two goals were enough for a fourth consecutive league victory at the Lane.

Blades: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Sharp (Dowell 85), Egan, Norwood, McGoldrick (Madine 80), Duffy (Stearman 76).
Unused: Lundstram, Hogan, Johnson, Moore.

Bolton: Matthews, Taylor, Lowe, Vela (Magennis 69), Donaldson, Ameobi, Hobbs, Connolly, O'Neil, Wheater, Connell.
Unused: Buckley, Noone, Murphy, Wilson, Williams, Grounds.

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