Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Precious Point and Common Sense

Sheffield United 0
Brentford 0
Bramall lane
Attendance 15,730

A single moment can leave you speechless, a rare and surprising decision can restore your faith in common sense, and yes it has finally been proven that a referee CAN change his decision. Sheffield United took on one of the seasons front runner for promotion Brentford, all be it without the suspended Harry Maguire, Brayford switching from his native right back position to centre half. Baxter and Scougall were put on the bench after picking up minor injury concerns at the weekend. Paynter and McGinn took their places in the starting eleven. In a game many were thinking we would struggle we played relatively well and had brief chances to steal all three points, but in the end a share of the spoils was a fair result.

As the game got underway the back four had to put in a tremendous amount of effort to keep Brentford out. The team in second place came out all guns blazing and controlled the opening quarter of an hour in search of the opener. The most nervy moment for The Blades came within the opening minute, Donaldson hit a weak shot, in the aftermath a Brayford passback was sliced by Howard straight into the path of Trotta, his deflected low driving effort was hacked off the line by Kieran Freeman. Donaldson had a few chances on goal but nothing to threatening. The Blades had a penalty appeal turned down (and rightly so as it was a weak appeal) when Murphy went to ground under McCormack's challenge. United started to string passes together and break against Brentfords dominance in possession, and The Blades almost took an unlikely lead, a low placed cross into the math of Coady needed an excellent block to prevent a clear goal scoring chance. Brentford again took control and a string of half chances and scuff shots kept the scores at deadlock, but as always United looked dangerous on the counter attack. Flynn made a darting run down the wing, and after a pass into the box Murphy had a golden opportunity taken away by a last ditch strong sliding challenge. It was then the defining moment of the game presented itself to us, it came around thirty minutes in, Trotta bore down on goal and an excellent tackle from a stretched Freeman won the ball and played it away from the path of Trotta, just as the Kop was applauding the tackle the evening air filled with the screech of the referees whistle, disbelief and anger engulfed Bramall Lane as the man in black pointed to the spot and sent off Freeman showing him a straight red, disappointingly Brentfords players were applauding the referee and already walking the ball to the spot, happy that they had conned a penalty and gained a man advantage, but that happiness was short lived, the protesting Blades players, the shocked Freeman and thousands of livid supporters poured their opinions in his direction and pleaded with him to go and discuss this instance with his linesman, the referee, well he obliged. Much to the panic of Brentfords players who began angrily crowding the official and his assistant before being sent away, after a few moments discusion common sense prevailed, the red card was rescinded, the penalty withdrawn,a drop ball and a stroppy kick out of play by a childish Brentford who were acting like a spoilt five year old who had just had their favorite toy taken away. The half fizzled out after a prolonged amount of a added time as a result of all the drama, and as the Brentford players continued to protest United left the pitch happy knowing they had coped well with not only the pressure put on them but by showing we can make breaks of our own.

As the second half began Freeman again made an important block to prevent an opener for the visitors.
United spent the opening twenty minutes on the back foot but coped well and looked comfortable mopping up the pressure. Newly appointed cult hero and super sub Chris Porter came on, replacing a disappointing Billy Paynter who had picked up a knock. The fresh legged Porter used his energy to cause problems with the visitors back four and looked to make a real nuisance of himself, especially when going for ariel challenges against the Brentford goalkeeper. Porter also mishit a header towards goal, but the ball looped and seemed to be falling on target forcing the keeper to tip it over the bar. Brentford tightened up their lines and again looked to take advantage of their ability to effectively keep possession, Douglas hit a long shot towards Howard but it was plucked from mid air, it seems due to Donaldson and Trotta struggling to get onto the passes from midfield (thanks to intelligent defending from United) that Brentford were limited to long range shots, non of which troubled us. But it was a long shot that nearly won the game, for United, a clever ball wide to Flynn saw him fire a curling shot towards the goal, the kop almost erupted but after minimal deflection it bounced a hairs width wide of goal scratching the paint of the post as it went out. In the final moments Trotta beat two defenders but hit a low shot straight to Howard as it became clear no team was going to break the deadlock. Full Time and a very well fought, well earned and well deserved point, as stated before the Play Offs were always a pipe dream but its nice to see that we can mix it up with the supposed best in the division, two more of The Sky Bet League One's top six, Leyton Orient and Rotherham United will visit Bramall Lane before our day at Wembley, and at this stage I say bring them on.

On a side note, to add to my already growing opinion that Brentford are like spoilt brat children who spit out their dummy when they don't get their own way take a look at this tweet and the picture they used to try and drum up people thinking they were hard done by.

Well in the interest in fairness here is a better and more impartial picture of the incident showing the ball was won.

-Jonathan Gascoigne

No comments:

Post a Comment