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Match Reports

Northampton 0-2 Blades - report

20 July 2019

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Two first-half Ollie Norwood penalties secured United a pre-season victory at Keith Curle's Northampton Town on Saturday.

The Blades team showed starts for Jagielka and Robinson but Northampton's Williams forced two routine saves from Moore in the first three minutes. United were not slow out of the blocks, though, McGoldrick fired over and headed wide from a Stevens cross when unmarked on six minutes.

The defences - both sides playing with three at the back - managed to get on top, despite Fleck having an effort saved and Lines curling a free-kick wide, until a penalty broke the deadlock on 23 minutes. Robinson was fouled by Hutton and NORWOOD's spot-kick beat Cornell for pace to give United the lead.

Around the half hour, the visitors had a number of chances to extend the lead. Fleck played through McGoldrick but his shot was blocked by the body of the home side's goalkeeper and from three consecutive corners, efforts from Lundstram, O'Connell and Norwood were deflected wide.

A second goal was forthcoming, though, and from a similar route to the first. On 44 minutes, Kieron Freeman was felled by late challenge in the box and NORWOOD converted his second penalty, finding the same spot as his first.

Early in the second half, McGoldrick was denied by Cornell again, after the striker got the better of defender Goode, whilst Northampton came very close to finding a route back into the game on 52 minutes when Watson's free-kick came back off a post and then, soon after, Moore was forced into a save from Hoskins.

Following a number of changes, the fluidity of the action was affected but United continued to enjoy the majority of possession.

Luke Freeman curled wide when Norwood unselfishly laid off when he had an opportunity to shoot for a hat-trick, which he attempted on 78 minutes but his volley was blocked.

Late on, following a break, Baldock headed wide from a Clarke cross but the notable action petered out before referee Woolmer's final whistle confirmed a Blades win.

Northampton: Cornell, Martin, Bunney, Lines, Turnbull, Goode, Hutton, Smith. Williams, Watson, Hoskins.
Subs: Oliver, Hall-Johnson, Arnold, McWilliams, Pollock, Yebli, Warburton, Simpson, Hughes.

Blades: Moore, Stevens (Bryan 76), Fleck (Slater 87), O'Connell, Lundstram (Clarke 62), Robinson (L. Freeman 45), Egan (Stearman 76), Jagielka (Basham 58), Norwood, McGoldrick (Sharp 62), K. Freeman (Baldock 62).
Unused: Dewhurst, Brunt, Boyes

Attendance: 3,825 (including 1,143 Blades)

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