Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Best Foot Forward

People can say what they want about Chris Morgan, I myself do not believe he is ready for full time management yet, but despite starting with a loss the Blades no nonsense caretaker has sparked life back into the season.  He learnt his lesson from the first half of the Coventry game and learned whilst playing football does not mean hitting the ball down the pitch as high and hard as possible, he also realised it also does not involve holding it and passing sideways for ninety minuets without attacking.

The Blades controlled the early goings of the game, getting the ball forward nicely and testing the waters in and around the Vale goal.  It was obvious early on that the Port Vale keeper was going to have a shaky afternoon, flapping around and spilling easy catches and saves.
The first goal of the game came from defender Neil Collins, the centre half putting his header in from an early Blades corner.  Things got worse for Vale after a former player for our city rivals (Danny Jones) was sent off for his second bookable offence, the red card came early in the game and left the Vale team in chaos.

It did not surprise many Blades fans to see ex manager Adams in a touchline row with Jennison Myrie-Williams, after substituting the forward in order to stabilise the team after Jones was dismissed. Many remember Adams was a Marmite character at Bramall Lane even with players.  Whilst we again took control of the game the fans were stunned and the mood was deflated by a freak goal from Port Vale, Adam Yates crossed the ball and a freak bend in movement helped it fortuitously nestle into The Blades goal.  Even Yates himself did not realise he had scored until he was surrounded by his team mates congratulating him on grabbing the equaliser, the shocked look on his face said it all "How has that gone in?"

Half Time came and went, and as the referee blew the whistle it became clear that Vale had a swift kick from boss Adams as they showed a lot more energy right from the start, whilst we again looked the better team they came at us more, the goal giving them new belief, and against a team that had not won since game day one, why not. Michael Doyle again was not impressing the Sheffield United faithful, playing many passes astray, one ball in particular a player five yards in front showed to much for Doyle who passed the ball three yards sideways straight for a vale throw in, one must think the linesman was in space and screaming for it, it would explain a lot.  Tony McMahon and Ryan Flynn were also showing signs that their positions may need
looking at by our future manager, both not really doing enough to warrant a first team place, but when they are the best available you work with what you have.  Doyle did however repay his mistakes when on seventy five minuets he placed a mid paced effort from outside the box past a very inconsistent Neal in the Vale goal.  The Lane, the Kop especially erupted in a wave of relief and noise, this game was now ours to lose and we were back in control, we of course repaid the favour chanting who are you to the Vale fans who had taken a break from their vow of silence to chant it to us upon equalising.  The biggest cheer of the game came as Shaun Miller was introduced to the game coming on as a substitute, his first appearance since rupturing his cruciate ligaments last boxing day.  The reception left Miller 'humbled' in his own words, but we were all glad to see him back and he repaid us by throwing himself straight into the action.  He almost fired in a third after getting on the end of a threw ball but fired his one on one chance straight at Neal, rustiness in front of goal cost him a comeback goal, but he should be encouraged he was able to find the space in the first place.  The final whistle went and again the cheers shook the Lanes foundation, finally three points and at last the pressure of being without a win since game one gone.

A daunting away trip to second in the division Peterborough, a risk of Saturdays hard work being undermined by a swift return to losing ways.  But that was never the case in the mind of the players and staff, testing the high flyers by hitting the woodwork courtesy of a Lyle Taylor twenty yard strike.  A good save from George Long denied Tommy Rowe, the match along with it's forgettable action ended in a goaless draw.  The first away point of the season and now it seems the team is ready and prepared to push on, the new Manager will still have a lot of hard work to do but thanks to Chris Morgan and a new attitude at least now he has the basis to start building the revival of the season.

Jonathan Gascoigne

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