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Match Reports

Blades 2-1 AFC Fylde - report

5 January 2020

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United overcame National League outfit AFC Fylde to ensure a safe passage to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Callum Robinson and Leon Clarke scored a goal in each half respectively to see of the challenge of the non-league side, who got on the scoresheet late on through Jordan Williams.

For the cup clash, boss Wilder made eleven changes to the side that faced Liverpool. New signing Rodwell was handed a debut, whilst Verrips also made a first senior appearance in goal.

United, after a positive start, took the lead in the eighth minute. Luke Freeman's ball in from the left picked out ROBINSON who controlled and hit the ball in one movement and with the aid of a deflection, his shot nestled in the bottom corner past the despairing dive of Hornby.

On 16 minutes though, the Blades had a scare as Fylde broke quickly, Rowe and Bradley combined to play in the advancing Haughton, but thankfully for United, Bešić tracked his runner and timed his tackle perfectly to divert the danger.

The Blades were dominating possession and territory, with Morrison, Bešić and Luke Freeman controlling the game, although the visitors offered a threat on the break and Jagielka required to clear the danger with Rowe lurking from Williams cross. At the other end, Clarke saw a header from a right-wing corner tipped over by Hornby.

As half-time approached there was a lengthy stoppage following an unfortunate clash between Bryan and Verrips as they attempted to stop a Fylde attack. Following treatment and a concussion check, the Dutch stopper was replaced by Henderson, before Osborn was booked for a mistimed high challenge on Burke.

The Blades started the second period on the attack, but this time Hornby kept out a Robinson effort at the back post, from Kieron Freeman's centre. But at the other end, from Haughton's free-kick, Whitmore headed wide with the goal at his mercy.

As the hour approached, Basham took the place of Rodwell, moments before Morrison had the ball in the net from Clarke's knockdown at the back post. Unfortunately, though, following a brief VAR check it was adjudged the skipper was offside.

But in the 61st minute, CLARKE wasn't to be denied, firing home on the rebound, after Luke Freeman had hit the far upright from Bešić's through ball.

With 12 minutes remaining, the visitors gave themselves hope of a revival, as WILLIAMS got in behind the Blades defence and lifted the ball calmly over Henderson from Bradley's well weighted pass. And Fylde's number 11 then forced a save from Henderson as the clocked ticked down. With two minutes left, Stearman was introduced, with Robinson the man to depart.

Four minutes of added time were signalled by the deputy fourth official, but they passed without incident as United progressed to round four.

Blades: Verrips (Henderson 40), L. Freeman, Robinson (Stearman 88) Morrison, Jagielka, K. Freeman, Bryan, Osborn, Clarke, Rodwell (Basham 58), Bešić.
Unused: Fleck, O'Connell, McBurnie, Sharp.

AFC Fylde: Hornby, Byrne, Jameson, Whitmore, Croasdale, Rowe (Willoughby 65), Philliskirk, Williams, Burke, Bradley (Craigen 85), Haughton (Yeates 65).
Unused: Lavercombe, Montrose, Taylor, Kellett.

As it happened...

We're underway

Good positive start from the Blades.

United on the front foot, as Luke Freeman delivers an early corner which is cleared. 0-0.

The Blades dominating the ball during the early stages, but so far the final pass is missing. Fylde camped inside their half as Kean Bryan aims a long range strike well wide. 0-0.


Luke Freeman delivers a cross from the left. It is controlled by Robinson who hits a low shot on the spin into the net. 1-0.

Kieron Freeman with a cross which looks too close to the 'keeper but it almost nestled into the top corner until Sam Hornby tipped over. The resulting corner is cleared. 1-0.

Fylde hit United on the counter and Haughton looks clear on goal after being fed by Bradley, but Besic gets back for United to produce a goal-saving tackle. 1-0.

United monopolising possession but nothing else significant created since the goal.

A good passing move ends after K. Freeman drifts offside. 1-0.

K. Freeman sends in a dangrous low cross into the area looking for Clarke. Fylde throw the bodies in the way and after a successful block, the visitors clear. 1-0.

Good work from Osborn to find L. Freeman who beats his man before sending in a cross towards the back post but K. Freeman can't climb high enough to get over the top of the ball and as his header falls off target. 1-0.

United go close to a second as Clarke's header from a corner is tipped over by Hornby.

Chance for Fylde.

A quick throw has United on the back foot, the cross from Croasdale almost finds Bradley but as Verrips comes out to get there ahead of him, Bryan's challenge leaves the 'keeper flat out as United clear. 1-0.

Verrips is back on his feet, but he's going to have to come off. Dean Henderson replaces him.

Osborn booked for a high foot.

Four added minutes

Half time

Blades 1-0 Fylde

Robinson's goal has United in front at the break.

Attendance:11,133 (675)

Second half is underway

K. Freeman with a dangerous low cross at the start of the second stanza which is cleared at near post. 1-0.

K. Freeman with another dangerous centre, this time it is missed by everyone. Robinson is there to control at the far post, but his effort is saved by Hornby.

Big chance for Fylde!

Free-kick is put right on the head of Whitmore who heads wide from eight yards. 1-0.

Robinson with a turn and shot from the edge of the area which is deflected over. The resulting corner from L. Freeman is cleared at the near post. 1-0.

Nice one-two between L. Freeman and K. Freeman has the latter in a good position but his cross-shot sails over. 1-0.

Fylde knocking on the door again after two efforts inside the area which are both blocked. 1-0.

Rodwell is replaced by Chris Basham who makes his 250th United appearance.

United have the ball in the net but the flag had long since been raised after K. Freeman's cross found Clarke. He headed down for Morrison to convert but Clarke had rightly already been flagged.


L. Freeman is slipped in on goal by Besic, his shot canons off the post and Clarke taps the loose ball into the net. 2-0.

Double change for Fylde. Rowe is replaced by Willougby and Haughton is replaced by ex-Blade Mark Yeates.

Left-footed cross from Basham flicked towards goal by Clarke but straight into the hands of Hornby.

Deflected effort from L. Freeman deflects just wide. 2-0.

Bryan heads over Morrison's corner. 2-0.

Game on.

Goal for Fylde, ball over the top is seized upon by Jordan Williams who lifts it over Henderson to make it 2-1.

Change for Fylde as Bradley is replaced by James Craigen.

Chance for Fylde as Williams drives into the area but his deflected shot hits the side netting. 2-1.

Substitution for United as Robinson is replaced by Richard Stearman.

Four minutes added time

Full time

Blades 2-1 Fylde

Goals from Robinson and Clarke are enough to see off a spirited effort from Fylde.

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