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Match Reports

Stoke 2-2 Blades - report

5 May 2019

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United's final game of the Sky Bet Championship ended with a point from a entertaining clash at the Bet365 Stadium.

The hosts led at the break through Sam Vokes's volley but substitute Kieran Dowell restored parity, only for home skipper Ryan Shawcross to put the Potters back in front. Enda Stevens had the last word though, firing home in front of the Blades army of travelling fans.

For the final game of the Sky Bet Championship campaign, skipper Sharp returned in place of Hogan, who dropped to the bench.

United controlled the opening couple of minutes of the game and had appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Eltringham as McGoldrick tangled with a retreating Woods. For the hosts, McClean evaded Norwood, but his shot was off target. Stoke that had appeals for a spot-kick ignored as Etebo fell having run the ball out of play.

The home side again threatened in the 17th minute, but Etebo fired wide of Henderson's far post, but in the next attack Stoke took the lead in controversial circumstances. VOKES was three yards offside as the ball was played forward, but he dropped off and volleyed home after O'Connell's attempted clearance landed kindly.

United were enjoying plenty of the ball, but it was Stoke who had the next chance following a quick break by Ince, but Vokes fired over under pressure from Egan. With six minutes of the first-half remaining it looked like the Blades had restored parity after Sharp volleyed at goal from Stevens cross which wasn't cleared by Martins Indi, but a combination of the post and perhaps an arm from Shawcross kept it out.

Stoke responded by hitting the post themselves with Ince then firing inches wide moments later. One minute of added time were signalled but the hosts held out until the break.

At the interval, Wilder made a double change, with Duffy and Norwood replaced by Lundstram and Dowell. And within three minutes of the restart, possibly with his first touch, DOWELL restored parity, firing low and hard past Butland after good work by Fleck down the left.

United were the ones pressing for a second goal, with Lundstram having opportunity to shoot, but it was the home side who regained their lead as SHAWCROSS volleyed into the net from close range from McClean's inswinging corner.

In response, Wilder made his final change with Madine replacing Basham and from the restart McGoldrick saw an effort tipped over by Butland, then the England international produced an unorthodox save to deny Fleck.

But on 75th minutes United were back in it again. Sharp cut inside from Dowell's pass and STEVENS took a touch before firing low into Butland's far corner. The final ten minutes saw the game really open up with both teams going for the winner.

Three minutes of added time were signalled and both sides could have won it, Dowell nearly deceived Butland, whilst Henderson was equal to Afobe's effort as the spoils were shared.

Stoke: Butland, Bauer, Allen, Ince (Bojan 82), Etebo, Vokes, McClean, Batth, Martins Indi (Afobe 59), Shawcross, Woods (Adam 87).
Unused: Federici, Williams, Diouf, Verlinden.

Blades: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham (Madine 72), Sharp, Egan, Norwood (Lundstram 45), McGoldrick, Duffy (Dowell 45)
Unused: Hogan, Stearman, Moore, Cranie.

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