Wednesday, 26 February 2014


Colchester United 0
Sheffield United 1
Weston Homes Community Stadium
Attendance 3,088
Away Blades 

The Blades climbed the table to the twelfth place after claiming all three pints at Colchester, a late Chris Porter penalty gave Blades fans vertigo and nose bleeds as we fired ourselves into the top half for the first time since the opening day. Six wins (in all competitions) shows that we are finally turning a corner. As Clough tried to make it nine points out of nine and look for a third clean sheet he tinkered slightly with the team, Ben Davies was handed his first start for the club, in as a replacement for the on fire but surely fatigued Ryan Flynn. The opening twenty minutes of the encounter should be classed as a write off, no real action was present or notable enough speak about. The Blades began to get adventurous however with efforts from Baxter and Murphy, Baxters blocked and touched wide by Eastmond, Murphys chance went clean over the bar. Brayford met a Davies corner with his head but again United were denied, Walker comfortably catching the ball. Colchester's narrow tactics gave our wingers plenty of chances to get on the ball and exploit Colchester's frailty's, but we couldn't seem to do anything dangerous in the final third. Colchester had one of their only four shots of the game go wide of Howard's goal, Sears managed to get in behind our back four and hook a shot, but its direction left a lot to be desired. Aside from two corners that never really tested us the first half ended without incident.

The second half started a shade more positively, Harry Maguire went on one of his rampaging runs, he then gifted the ball to Scougall who tried to get a shot away, as was the case before the Colchester defense got in a last ditch desperation block. The Colchester keeper, young Sam Walker kept his team in the competition making a miraculous save from a Davies chance, it was Brayford cross that met the loanee from Derby but he could not convert his effort. United now slowed down the pace and began to frustrate the home side, shifting up the tempo on occasion to get the ball wide and torment the opposition full backs, but still the goal remained elusive. Flynn  came on for Murphy in United's first change and he immediately caused problems with his pace. It was towards the end of the game that Baxter was replaced by the newly recognized super sub, Chris Porter a pivotal moment which would decide the fate of the game. Porter began to show his
poaching nature and frustrated the home defense by using his fresh legs to his advantage, and with the
defenders covering him Davies got into the box unmarked, he was brought down by Sears and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Super sub steps up, Colchester become the latest team to be Porterized. Five minutes added time made no impact as Colchester had no real tenacity about them, they fizzled out and we claimed our three points comfortably. We continue to move Onwards and Upwards. 

-Jonathan Gascoigne

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