United 3 Colchester 0 - report

United 3 Colchester 0 - report

Deadbat
Deadbat

September 18th, 2011, 11:08 am #1

Sheffield United got back to winning ways after their first defeat in the week; as they comfortably saw off Colchester at Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon. United got two quick fire goals from striker partners Ched Evans and Chris Porter and despite the U’s having chances of their own United somehow failed to add further goals until Stephen Quinn’s second half finish. For much of the game United controlled matters and somehow missed chance after chance in a very open contest that arguable could have ended up 12-3! United hit the woodwork on three occasions and squandered some golden chances but in the end it did not matter.

The Blades made 2 changes from the side that lost to Huddersfield with Kevin McDonald and Evans coming in for Ryan Flynn and Richard Cresswell. It was perhaps a surprise that manager Danny Wilson dropped leading scorer Cresswell instead of the so far disappointing Porter as he tinkered with his attacking options giving Evans his first start of the season. Colchester

United started with Williamson and Quinn on the flanks and took the game to the visitors immediately. They won two early corners and from the second they took the lead with only three minutes on the clock. Williamson’s corner was never properly cleared and the ball was kept in the danger area by first Collins and then Porter and as the ball dropped EVANS turned and hooked home. A few defenders appealed for offside but there was at least one, possibly two U’s defenders behind Evans when he converted. Colchester responded with a corner at the other end and almost converted as the ball bounced around before being cleared. United were on top though and were able to double the advantage on 12 minutes.

The goal came about from a through ball from Collins and as Evans held off his man the ball fell into the path of the onrushing PORTER who was in on the keeper. As the ball dropped invitingly the striker lobbed the ball over Cousins and into the net. It was a cool and clever finish and saw United in complete control.

Despite the lead Colchester still continued to attack and had a number of openings themselves. A harsh free kick award on McDonald right on the edge of the United box gave an opportunity but Wordsworth’s fierce effort was narrowly over the bar at the Kop end. Williamson’s close range effort was parried by Cousins as United got through a hesitant Colchester defence yet again and then Evans was nearly in on goal. It was proving all too easy for United to get in on goal but at the other end the visitors were still looking dangerous and Simonsen had to save well from both Henderson and Wordsworth. From a cross from the right Evans header hit the bar and bounced down and away as United looked to put the game away but in a really open contest the chances continued to come. Quinn exchanged passes with Evans and advanced into the box but pulled his shot just wide and then Porter’s acrobatic overhead kick was just wide. A mistake by Doyle saw a great opportunity for the visitors just before half time as he dithered and lost possession seeing Bond in the clear but his effort was superbly saved from Simonsen as he looked set to reduce the arrears.

There was still time for United to create more chances as a rare handled back pass from Cousins saw Evans strike the resulting free kick inside the box but the ball was deflected wide. Williams then got forward well down the left and made inroads into the box but the ball was bundled behind by a combination of Cousins and his defender.

After such a chance packed first half the second half began as more of a midfield battle and was relatively scrappy in the early stages. This probably suited United who maybe despite the chances they had created and the two goal advantage had been a little open themselves in the first half. The first effort on goal was an Odejayi header that he maybe should have done better with and then Evans tried to catch the keeper off his line from the half way line! United began to turn the screw though and started to create chances again. Doyle’s shot was saved and Porter looped in the rebound via his head but was adjudged to be offside. A nice passing move put Evans in and he took his time before driving his shot just wide. Maguire then strode out of defence and impressively sidestepped two challenges before playing in Porter who rounded the keeper but could only hit the post when maybe he ought to have squared the ball from a tight angle.

Colchester’s offside trap was proving to be very much hit and miss as United broke it again with this time Lowton sprinting through unopposed after Evans played him in. He was one on one with the keeper but made a hash of the chance hitting the bar when he ought to have scored.

It seemed as if the third goal would never come but eventually it did come and came after another nice patient passing move. QUINN was involved at the start and then when Evans played a clever reverse ball back towards him, the midfielder stroked the ball home with his right foot.

Evans came off soon after to a warm round of applause as Cresswell replaced him and soon after Williamson was withdrawn too with Flynn coming on to play wide on the left. Colchester had not offered many threats this half but was down smartly to field from Bond before the Blades were back on the attack with another effort on goal. McDonald shot just wide and then had another effort blocked as United threatened to run riot. Doyle had another effort on goal and then Cresswell and Porter somehow failed to convert on two separate occasions as the ball pinged across the box. Collins went off to be replaced by Jean Francois who dumped Gillespie on the floor but Simonsen saved the resultant free kick from Wordsworth typical of his more assured goalkeeping display. Porter almost scored again right at the end but somehow missed right in front of goal with Cousins keeping the ball out. The final whistle came not long after as United ran out comfortable winners in a game that saw three goals but could have seen many more.

United – It was a solid performance where United created as many chances in a game as perhaps I have ever seen. We were much quicker to the ball and more physical all over the field than Tuesday and won most of the 50/50 stuff which have us a platform to go and pass the ball and make chances. We were very patient for much of the game and we got behind the U’s defence often and at will. We carved up a poor defence at will and it seemed that not 2 or 3 minutes would go by without a United chance or effort on goal.

We played some really neat and tidy football and one or two excellent moves. We mixed it up though and the long ball from Maguire and Collins also caused problems but for the most part we tried to bring it out from the back and try and pass the ball.

When we scored the two early goals you felt we would win easily but they had a good spell of their own and actually had a number of good chances. If anything the game was too open for United’s liking in the first half and they easily could have converted a few excellent chances. However at the other end United could have had 4 or 5 more in the first half alone. We were creating chances in different ways with some neat and tidy football with Porter and Evans movement and link play excellent but also the long direct ball over the top of two very suspect centre backs was perhaps the main threat.

In the second half United completely bottled things up and I am sure Wilson would have asked them to be tighter and ensure there were not as many big gaps between the defence and midfield and we restricted Colchester to very few openings. We then had so many chances it was unreal and some of the finishing ranged from unlucky to sloppy to awful as United missed the chance to score 7 or 8 goals and go back to the top of the league. We at times maybe overplayed but that is something I have never ever said of a United side so I will not complain too much. We should have been more ruthless in the second half and maybe were too open and gave them too many chances in the first half but outside of these two criticisms it was a very good performance and an easily merited margin of victory and three points. Maguire starred at the back and Evans at the other end and the players in between all played their part with Simonsen also looking much more assured. Some of United’s more influential players this season in Williamson and Quinn had fairly quiet games so it was pleasing other players came to the fore.

We may not have things so easy in the next three home games with teams all near the top to come in Charlton, MK Dons and Wednesday and will need to tighten things up a bit and take the chances we have as I am not sure we will play a poorer defence all season. I still feel the side is lacking some pace, especially in the forward area and central defensive area and it will be good to get Montgomery and Morgan back in the side. If we could inject some pace into the side and keep everyone fit then it would be a major disappointment if we do not finish in the top 6 at least as most of the sides I have seen United face (Huddersfield and maybe even Walsall 0 but they seem to be struggling now) have been relatively poor and there for the beating.

Colchester – Defensively they were atrocious. The two centre backs had a nightmare as Evans and Porter ran them ragged with their movement, running and also aerial ability. Despite them both being taller than United’s strikers they lost most headers and seemed woefully slow and clumsy. They made mistake after mistake and could not deal with the simple straight ball over the top. Sloppy defending contributed to the first two goals and the second was awful as a bad mistake allowed Porter to pounce. They tried to play an offside trap and this did not work at all. The big lad Okuonghae was so clumsy and really exposed when up against Evans. It was no surprise when one of them Heath was taken off before half time. The ultimate embarrassment for a pro footballer especially a defender. It could have been either. His replacement Baldwin was not much better. There were so many gaps in their backline that it seemed like United had too many options at times and led to them overplaying when they ought to have scored far more goals. The keeper made some good saves but also was indecisive and made a few mistakes too such as a few poor kicks and then when he picked up the back pass in the first half. He never looked entirely convincing and it was odd to see him being quite small behind the mammoth centre backs in front of him. It was strange though because as bad as they were at the back they were decent going the other way.

They actually looked very good going forward in the first half, played some neat football and were unlucky not to score at least once. They had a few really good chances and the one on one with Simonsen was perhaps a turning point as if they had scored that it would have been 2-1 at half time and a different game but this seemed to be the last notable chance they had as in the second half it was mainly long range efforts as they seemed to realise the game was up. If United had scored the third earlier it could have been a rout but United’s finishing let them off the hook. Odejayi looked big and clumsy and Maguire and Collins handled him fairly easily and in terms of other players the midfielder Wordsworth looked neat and tidy and the experienced Izzet (brother of Muzzy) also worked hard to no avail as United bossed the midfield.

A word for their manager John Ward who showed real sportsmanship as he stayed and shook every United players hand one by one and offering them all words at the final whistle. A nice touch and one that you do not see very often.


Simonsen 7.5/10 – Had a very good game. As much as I have criticised him in recent weeks he was excellent today. He made a couple of good saves including a key one when they were through on him just before half time that could have changed the game. His handling was much better and every single long range shot stuck to him including some far trickier ones than some he has spilled in recent weeks. Still does not dominate his box and still often was stuck to his line though. His distribution was excellent with several good throw outs and roll outs to get United moving on the deck. When he plays like that he reminds me of the Simonsen we signed on loan; not the one we saw last season and for much of this.

Lowton 7/10 – Thought he was off his man first half and not alert or tight enough at times but he improved a lot after the break and was much better defensively. Going the other way he always impresses with his ling bursting runs and ability to get right into the final third. He makes some clever runs and always shows for the ball although he really ought to have scored when one on one and made a hash of his shot with his left foot, hitting the post. He was involved in a number of our good passing moves in the second half.

Williams 7/10 – Decent enough. Like Lowton felt he did not quite get close enough to his man in the first half but he too got tighter as the game went on and was able to make sure he stopped any kind of chance for his opponent to cross. He also showed he can get forward with one run right into the 6 yard box in the first half where he nearly scored, evidence of this. Good to have some competition for a spot as we do not really have this for the other 3 defensive spots at the moment.

Maguire 8/10 – Thought he maybe had his poorest game for the club in the week as he got bullied much of the game but he recovered very well and he was superb from pretty much start to finish against the U’s. Defended better winning a number of headers and tackles and showed calmness (maybe a bit too much at times!) in his defensive work and also always brought the ball out from the back. He played some very good balls (maybe went long a bit much but it was proving effective as their defence could not cope with a simple straight ball) and always looked to bring other United players into the game. One run in the second half where he skipped around two challenges and sent United clear showed his ability on the ball. Looks a very good prospect. Lovely composure on the ball and it is rare to see a centre back so comfortable in possession. If he keeps developing and is able to still lose the extra few pounds he is carrying then I do think we may get interest from clubs higher up the leagues.

Collins 7/10 – Felt he had a hesitant start in the first half and at times he dithered and looked like the Collins of last year (and Tuesday night) but he did not let a few mistakes get to him (when Odejayi rolled him and almost scored reminded me of last season when he got outmuscled) and improved. He then was much more assured in the second half as we restricted them to long range efforts and set plays in the end. Definitely improved from last season but I still am not totally convinced and will be glad when Morgan returns.

McDonald 7/10 – He is an odd player as he does not get up and down the pitch much and clearly lacks speed and maybe even fitness (he too looks to be carrying a bit too much weight) but he always gets in areas where he can receive the ball. His range of passing is excellent and he does not give the ball away much. He has also given us height and power in the central area which is something we have not had for a while. He needs someone with legs alongside him and I feel although Doyle has done well; him and Montgomery will be the eventual partnership.

Doyle 7/10 – Like Collins he has improved immeasurable since last season. He has been quietly effective and other than Tuesday has imposed himself on midfield opponents really well and his harrying/chasing has seen us win the ball back on a number of occasions. That was the theme against Colchester as he was able to pick off loose balls and then play simple balls to our more creative players. He had one or two long range efforts on goal as well including one effort the keeper saved and we nearly put in the rebound.

Quinn 6.5/10 – Thought at the start of the match he was off his game and carried on from Tuesday where his touch and passing did not really happen for him. He seemed to know it too judging by his frustrating expressions but he always is involved even if his control and the things on the ball don’t always come off. Had one or two efforts in the first half including an ill judged early first time shot when well placed down the left and then a run and pulled shot wide when he could easily have gone down under contact for a penalty. In the second half he improved a lot and got more into the game, got on the ball more and was always involved and scored a smart goal. He was always influential in most of our better passing moves even though his passing and final ball was not as good today at times.

Williamson 6.5/10 – Another who has not been quite as effective in recent games and I felt he was also a bit off his game but still influential in getting involved in some of our better moves. His touch and passing was also a bit off; like Quinn’s at first but he too got better as the game went on and was a threat down the left and down the right when they swapped over. He is a player that has tended to make more of an impact when he comes on a sub than starts though but still is probably better than the other options we have out wide. Neither him or Quinn are typical wingers but I would still play them both there as they are good footballers and offer us protection inside too.

Porter 7/10 – Surprised he started after a poor game in the week but he was much better today and was always in the thick of things. The negatives were his inability to stay onside, a few sloppy finishes and his first touch still not always being sound. However he worked much harder today and won a lot more in the air; especially in the first half and was a threat. He took his goal excellently making it look much easier than it was. He also linked fairly well with Evans and looked more of a partnership than the one we have seen with Cresswell. He maybe could have had a few more and had a weak shot straight at the keeper and hit the post with a squared cross-cum-shot when going round the keeper in the second half.

Evans 8/10 – Thought he really stood out at this level; especially against such poor centre halves. He converted smartly early on and then had a number of other efforts on goal but more than this his effort and willingness to chase the ball and harry the defenders saw us get many more chances. He linked well with others and maybe ought to have scored a few more with a shot narrowly wide in the second and a few others he just failed to convert. His hold up play and work rate was very good today.


Subs –

Cresswell – Came on for the tiring Evans and also could have had a few goals as a number of balls pinged across the box or we took too long/overplayed with the goal gaping. Be interested if he remains on the bench after Evans and Porter both scored. Thought he was poor Tuesday but seemed a bit harsh he was dropped as he has been decent this season on the whole but maybe Wilson is concerned at finding the best partnership.

Flynn – Brought on with the game over and actually we saw him finally run at his full back down near the corner with a bit of skill and drag back creating a chance for a cross. Played a neat pull back for another chance in another move. If he gets another chance to start needs to impose himself more.

Jean Francois – Played at centre back for the final few minutes as Collins had received a slight knock and could not carry on. Brought down an opponent right on the edge of the box but Simonsen saved the free kick.


Officials – Darren Deadman has had some strange games involving United. I remember his disallowing a Kilgallon goal at the death at Carrow Road when Robson was in charge and a few other strange performances. He did little wrong though today with the only real charge I could level at him was that he was a bit fussy with where he wanted free kicks taking from and arguably could have played advantage or let the game go a bit more (for both sides). His two assistants were poor with one giving nothing and seemingly not wanting to make a decision and the other (on the South Stand) side not seeming to know the offside rule. There were a number that were not offside and he gave and then a few that looked clearly offside (Lowton/Porter with chances in close succession) but he did not raise the flag. It was almost as if the crowd’s howls of derision got to him and he thought ‘I can’t give another offside now!’


Crowd/Atmosphere – The crowd finally dipped into the 15,000’s (first time for a long time in the league – stattos?) and the atmosphere was flat for most of the game as in a strange way the two early goals killed any kind of noise. Colchester brought around a couple of hundred at most and of course this does not help crowd sizes where most Champ sides brought around 6-700 minimum. They must have been gutted to have come all that way and the game is almost over within the first 10 minutes. Towards the end of the game I could hear players shouting to each other so it must have been quiet! The crowd do seem to be appreciative of the change of style and for the most part have been patient and pleased with the passing and patient build up. They are seeing if we keep the ball, we will create more chances and score more goals.
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bedfordblade
bedfordblade

September 18th, 2011, 11:20 am #2

Thanks DB.
I watched video highlights of uttersfield match on sky website. The blades looked a lot better than the score line, so maybe that was just one of those things. But we now march on yet again!
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wardlowwanderer
wardlowwanderer

September 18th, 2011, 1:46 pm #3

Sheffield United got back to winning ways after their first defeat in the week; as they comfortably saw off Colchester at Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon. United got two quick fire goals from striker partners Ched Evans and Chris Porter and despite the U’s having chances of their own United somehow failed to add further goals until Stephen Quinn’s second half finish. For much of the game United controlled matters and somehow missed chance after chance in a very open contest that arguable could have ended up 12-3! United hit the woodwork on three occasions and squandered some golden chances but in the end it did not matter.

The Blades made 2 changes from the side that lost to Huddersfield with Kevin McDonald and Evans coming in for Ryan Flynn and Richard Cresswell. It was perhaps a surprise that manager Danny Wilson dropped leading scorer Cresswell instead of the so far disappointing Porter as he tinkered with his attacking options giving Evans his first start of the season. Colchester

United started with Williamson and Quinn on the flanks and took the game to the visitors immediately. They won two early corners and from the second they took the lead with only three minutes on the clock. Williamson’s corner was never properly cleared and the ball was kept in the danger area by first Collins and then Porter and as the ball dropped EVANS turned and hooked home. A few defenders appealed for offside but there was at least one, possibly two U’s defenders behind Evans when he converted. Colchester responded with a corner at the other end and almost converted as the ball bounced around before being cleared. United were on top though and were able to double the advantage on 12 minutes.

The goal came about from a through ball from Collins and as Evans held off his man the ball fell into the path of the onrushing PORTER who was in on the keeper. As the ball dropped invitingly the striker lobbed the ball over Cousins and into the net. It was a cool and clever finish and saw United in complete control.

Despite the lead Colchester still continued to attack and had a number of openings themselves. A harsh free kick award on McDonald right on the edge of the United box gave an opportunity but Wordsworth’s fierce effort was narrowly over the bar at the Kop end. Williamson’s close range effort was parried by Cousins as United got through a hesitant Colchester defence yet again and then Evans was nearly in on goal. It was proving all too easy for United to get in on goal but at the other end the visitors were still looking dangerous and Simonsen had to save well from both Henderson and Wordsworth. From a cross from the right Evans header hit the bar and bounced down and away as United looked to put the game away but in a really open contest the chances continued to come. Quinn exchanged passes with Evans and advanced into the box but pulled his shot just wide and then Porter’s acrobatic overhead kick was just wide. A mistake by Doyle saw a great opportunity for the visitors just before half time as he dithered and lost possession seeing Bond in the clear but his effort was superbly saved from Simonsen as he looked set to reduce the arrears.

There was still time for United to create more chances as a rare handled back pass from Cousins saw Evans strike the resulting free kick inside the box but the ball was deflected wide. Williams then got forward well down the left and made inroads into the box but the ball was bundled behind by a combination of Cousins and his defender.

After such a chance packed first half the second half began as more of a midfield battle and was relatively scrappy in the early stages. This probably suited United who maybe despite the chances they had created and the two goal advantage had been a little open themselves in the first half. The first effort on goal was an Odejayi header that he maybe should have done better with and then Evans tried to catch the keeper off his line from the half way line! United began to turn the screw though and started to create chances again. Doyle’s shot was saved and Porter looped in the rebound via his head but was adjudged to be offside. A nice passing move put Evans in and he took his time before driving his shot just wide. Maguire then strode out of defence and impressively sidestepped two challenges before playing in Porter who rounded the keeper but could only hit the post when maybe he ought to have squared the ball from a tight angle.

Colchester’s offside trap was proving to be very much hit and miss as United broke it again with this time Lowton sprinting through unopposed after Evans played him in. He was one on one with the keeper but made a hash of the chance hitting the bar when he ought to have scored.

It seemed as if the third goal would never come but eventually it did come and came after another nice patient passing move. QUINN was involved at the start and then when Evans played a clever reverse ball back towards him, the midfielder stroked the ball home with his right foot.

Evans came off soon after to a warm round of applause as Cresswell replaced him and soon after Williamson was withdrawn too with Flynn coming on to play wide on the left. Colchester had not offered many threats this half but was down smartly to field from Bond before the Blades were back on the attack with another effort on goal. McDonald shot just wide and then had another effort blocked as United threatened to run riot. Doyle had another effort on goal and then Cresswell and Porter somehow failed to convert on two separate occasions as the ball pinged across the box. Collins went off to be replaced by Jean Francois who dumped Gillespie on the floor but Simonsen saved the resultant free kick from Wordsworth typical of his more assured goalkeeping display. Porter almost scored again right at the end but somehow missed right in front of goal with Cousins keeping the ball out. The final whistle came not long after as United ran out comfortable winners in a game that saw three goals but could have seen many more.

United – It was a solid performance where United created as many chances in a game as perhaps I have ever seen. We were much quicker to the ball and more physical all over the field than Tuesday and won most of the 50/50 stuff which have us a platform to go and pass the ball and make chances. We were very patient for much of the game and we got behind the U’s defence often and at will. We carved up a poor defence at will and it seemed that not 2 or 3 minutes would go by without a United chance or effort on goal.

We played some really neat and tidy football and one or two excellent moves. We mixed it up though and the long ball from Maguire and Collins also caused problems but for the most part we tried to bring it out from the back and try and pass the ball.

When we scored the two early goals you felt we would win easily but they had a good spell of their own and actually had a number of good chances. If anything the game was too open for United’s liking in the first half and they easily could have converted a few excellent chances. However at the other end United could have had 4 or 5 more in the first half alone. We were creating chances in different ways with some neat and tidy football with Porter and Evans movement and link play excellent but also the long direct ball over the top of two very suspect centre backs was perhaps the main threat.

In the second half United completely bottled things up and I am sure Wilson would have asked them to be tighter and ensure there were not as many big gaps between the defence and midfield and we restricted Colchester to very few openings. We then had so many chances it was unreal and some of the finishing ranged from unlucky to sloppy to awful as United missed the chance to score 7 or 8 goals and go back to the top of the league. We at times maybe overplayed but that is something I have never ever said of a United side so I will not complain too much. We should have been more ruthless in the second half and maybe were too open and gave them too many chances in the first half but outside of these two criticisms it was a very good performance and an easily merited margin of victory and three points. Maguire starred at the back and Evans at the other end and the players in between all played their part with Simonsen also looking much more assured. Some of United’s more influential players this season in Williamson and Quinn had fairly quiet games so it was pleasing other players came to the fore.

We may not have things so easy in the next three home games with teams all near the top to come in Charlton, MK Dons and Wednesday and will need to tighten things up a bit and take the chances we have as I am not sure we will play a poorer defence all season. I still feel the side is lacking some pace, especially in the forward area and central defensive area and it will be good to get Montgomery and Morgan back in the side. If we could inject some pace into the side and keep everyone fit then it would be a major disappointment if we do not finish in the top 6 at least as most of the sides I have seen United face (Huddersfield and maybe even Walsall 0 but they seem to be struggling now) have been relatively poor and there for the beating.

Colchester – Defensively they were atrocious. The two centre backs had a nightmare as Evans and Porter ran them ragged with their movement, running and also aerial ability. Despite them both being taller than United’s strikers they lost most headers and seemed woefully slow and clumsy. They made mistake after mistake and could not deal with the simple straight ball over the top. Sloppy defending contributed to the first two goals and the second was awful as a bad mistake allowed Porter to pounce. They tried to play an offside trap and this did not work at all. The big lad Okuonghae was so clumsy and really exposed when up against Evans. It was no surprise when one of them Heath was taken off before half time. The ultimate embarrassment for a pro footballer especially a defender. It could have been either. His replacement Baldwin was not much better. There were so many gaps in their backline that it seemed like United had too many options at times and led to them overplaying when they ought to have scored far more goals. The keeper made some good saves but also was indecisive and made a few mistakes too such as a few poor kicks and then when he picked up the back pass in the first half. He never looked entirely convincing and it was odd to see him being quite small behind the mammoth centre backs in front of him. It was strange though because as bad as they were at the back they were decent going the other way.

They actually looked very good going forward in the first half, played some neat football and were unlucky not to score at least once. They had a few really good chances and the one on one with Simonsen was perhaps a turning point as if they had scored that it would have been 2-1 at half time and a different game but this seemed to be the last notable chance they had as in the second half it was mainly long range efforts as they seemed to realise the game was up. If United had scored the third earlier it could have been a rout but United’s finishing let them off the hook. Odejayi looked big and clumsy and Maguire and Collins handled him fairly easily and in terms of other players the midfielder Wordsworth looked neat and tidy and the experienced Izzet (brother of Muzzy) also worked hard to no avail as United bossed the midfield.

A word for their manager John Ward who showed real sportsmanship as he stayed and shook every United players hand one by one and offering them all words at the final whistle. A nice touch and one that you do not see very often.


Simonsen 7.5/10 – Had a very good game. As much as I have criticised him in recent weeks he was excellent today. He made a couple of good saves including a key one when they were through on him just before half time that could have changed the game. His handling was much better and every single long range shot stuck to him including some far trickier ones than some he has spilled in recent weeks. Still does not dominate his box and still often was stuck to his line though. His distribution was excellent with several good throw outs and roll outs to get United moving on the deck. When he plays like that he reminds me of the Simonsen we signed on loan; not the one we saw last season and for much of this.

Lowton 7/10 – Thought he was off his man first half and not alert or tight enough at times but he improved a lot after the break and was much better defensively. Going the other way he always impresses with his ling bursting runs and ability to get right into the final third. He makes some clever runs and always shows for the ball although he really ought to have scored when one on one and made a hash of his shot with his left foot, hitting the post. He was involved in a number of our good passing moves in the second half.

Williams 7/10 – Decent enough. Like Lowton felt he did not quite get close enough to his man in the first half but he too got tighter as the game went on and was able to make sure he stopped any kind of chance for his opponent to cross. He also showed he can get forward with one run right into the 6 yard box in the first half where he nearly scored, evidence of this. Good to have some competition for a spot as we do not really have this for the other 3 defensive spots at the moment.

Maguire 8/10 – Thought he maybe had his poorest game for the club in the week as he got bullied much of the game but he recovered very well and he was superb from pretty much start to finish against the U’s. Defended better winning a number of headers and tackles and showed calmness (maybe a bit too much at times!) in his defensive work and also always brought the ball out from the back. He played some very good balls (maybe went long a bit much but it was proving effective as their defence could not cope with a simple straight ball) and always looked to bring other United players into the game. One run in the second half where he skipped around two challenges and sent United clear showed his ability on the ball. Looks a very good prospect. Lovely composure on the ball and it is rare to see a centre back so comfortable in possession. If he keeps developing and is able to still lose the extra few pounds he is carrying then I do think we may get interest from clubs higher up the leagues.

Collins 7/10 – Felt he had a hesitant start in the first half and at times he dithered and looked like the Collins of last year (and Tuesday night) but he did not let a few mistakes get to him (when Odejayi rolled him and almost scored reminded me of last season when he got outmuscled) and improved. He then was much more assured in the second half as we restricted them to long range efforts and set plays in the end. Definitely improved from last season but I still am not totally convinced and will be glad when Morgan returns.

McDonald 7/10 – He is an odd player as he does not get up and down the pitch much and clearly lacks speed and maybe even fitness (he too looks to be carrying a bit too much weight) but he always gets in areas where he can receive the ball. His range of passing is excellent and he does not give the ball away much. He has also given us height and power in the central area which is something we have not had for a while. He needs someone with legs alongside him and I feel although Doyle has done well; him and Montgomery will be the eventual partnership.

Doyle 7/10 – Like Collins he has improved immeasurable since last season. He has been quietly effective and other than Tuesday has imposed himself on midfield opponents really well and his harrying/chasing has seen us win the ball back on a number of occasions. That was the theme against Colchester as he was able to pick off loose balls and then play simple balls to our more creative players. He had one or two long range efforts on goal as well including one effort the keeper saved and we nearly put in the rebound.

Quinn 6.5/10 – Thought at the start of the match he was off his game and carried on from Tuesday where his touch and passing did not really happen for him. He seemed to know it too judging by his frustrating expressions but he always is involved even if his control and the things on the ball don’t always come off. Had one or two efforts in the first half including an ill judged early first time shot when well placed down the left and then a run and pulled shot wide when he could easily have gone down under contact for a penalty. In the second half he improved a lot and got more into the game, got on the ball more and was always involved and scored a smart goal. He was always influential in most of our better passing moves even though his passing and final ball was not as good today at times.

Williamson 6.5/10 – Another who has not been quite as effective in recent games and I felt he was also a bit off his game but still influential in getting involved in some of our better moves. His touch and passing was also a bit off; like Quinn’s at first but he too got better as the game went on and was a threat down the left and down the right when they swapped over. He is a player that has tended to make more of an impact when he comes on a sub than starts though but still is probably better than the other options we have out wide. Neither him or Quinn are typical wingers but I would still play them both there as they are good footballers and offer us protection inside too.

Porter 7/10 – Surprised he started after a poor game in the week but he was much better today and was always in the thick of things. The negatives were his inability to stay onside, a few sloppy finishes and his first touch still not always being sound. However he worked much harder today and won a lot more in the air; especially in the first half and was a threat. He took his goal excellently making it look much easier than it was. He also linked fairly well with Evans and looked more of a partnership than the one we have seen with Cresswell. He maybe could have had a few more and had a weak shot straight at the keeper and hit the post with a squared cross-cum-shot when going round the keeper in the second half.

Evans 8/10 – Thought he really stood out at this level; especially against such poor centre halves. He converted smartly early on and then had a number of other efforts on goal but more than this his effort and willingness to chase the ball and harry the defenders saw us get many more chances. He linked well with others and maybe ought to have scored a few more with a shot narrowly wide in the second and a few others he just failed to convert. His hold up play and work rate was very good today.


Subs –

Cresswell – Came on for the tiring Evans and also could have had a few goals as a number of balls pinged across the box or we took too long/overplayed with the goal gaping. Be interested if he remains on the bench after Evans and Porter both scored. Thought he was poor Tuesday but seemed a bit harsh he was dropped as he has been decent this season on the whole but maybe Wilson is concerned at finding the best partnership.

Flynn – Brought on with the game over and actually we saw him finally run at his full back down near the corner with a bit of skill and drag back creating a chance for a cross. Played a neat pull back for another chance in another move. If he gets another chance to start needs to impose himself more.

Jean Francois – Played at centre back for the final few minutes as Collins had received a slight knock and could not carry on. Brought down an opponent right on the edge of the box but Simonsen saved the free kick.


Officials – Darren Deadman has had some strange games involving United. I remember his disallowing a Kilgallon goal at the death at Carrow Road when Robson was in charge and a few other strange performances. He did little wrong though today with the only real charge I could level at him was that he was a bit fussy with where he wanted free kicks taking from and arguably could have played advantage or let the game go a bit more (for both sides). His two assistants were poor with one giving nothing and seemingly not wanting to make a decision and the other (on the South Stand) side not seeming to know the offside rule. There were a number that were not offside and he gave and then a few that looked clearly offside (Lowton/Porter with chances in close succession) but he did not raise the flag. It was almost as if the crowd’s howls of derision got to him and he thought ‘I can’t give another offside now!’


Crowd/Atmosphere – The crowd finally dipped into the 15,000’s (first time for a long time in the league – stattos?) and the atmosphere was flat for most of the game as in a strange way the two early goals killed any kind of noise. Colchester brought around a couple of hundred at most and of course this does not help crowd sizes where most Champ sides brought around 6-700 minimum. They must have been gutted to have come all that way and the game is almost over within the first 10 minutes. Towards the end of the game I could hear players shouting to each other so it must have been quiet! The crowd do seem to be appreciative of the change of style and for the most part have been patient and pleased with the passing and patient build up. They are seeing if we keep the ball, we will create more chances and score more goals.
The only thing I'd disagree with would be I'd give Harry a 9. I thought he was immense today and the confidence in front of (his own) goal to dribble around the oppositin and not just hoof it had my heart in my mouth becuase it reminded me of Nosworthy last season except Harry is talented.

The only negative was that Porter should have had at least two in the second half but just wasn't prepared to stick a leg out.

Some nice footbal played yesterday. It'll be interesting to see how wa fare against Charlton, and MK Dons and also the unclean.
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Joined: August 1st, 2010, 10:10 pm

September 18th, 2011, 3:16 pm #4

Thanks for the report Deadbat. I agree when you indicate the next three home games are the key to our prospects of a top 6 finish.Danny Wilson will be similarly aware and I wonder if he might still make a loan signing or two to bolster the squad,assuming of course the funds are available,and a window is still open,which I think still is.

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bladeinthesouth
bladeinthesouth

September 18th, 2011, 7:13 pm #5

Cheers for the report Deadbat.

I would have thought that there would be a plan to bring a fast forward in to replace Slew. Its good to have Evans back and seemingly on form. When we missed out on the 2 Rangers lads, we might have been looking to bring an additional 2 players in before we lost Slew. The only addition has been a left back.

I would guess that the plan has not changed. As much as Beattie would give some a lift, I wonder whether we need him at the moment. A fast attacking player is what we need. We seem to have midfield cover. I think Parrino could cover right back and possibly centre half but its the fast striker we need.

I think the real positive about yesterday is the fact we bounced back after we lost midweek. It shows that there is more confidence with the players that were here last season. The performance itself is the best answer to losing against Huddersfield. Maybe Colchester are not that good but it still a good team who actually manages to get the win.

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parisblade
parisblade

September 19th, 2011, 6:37 pm #6

The only thing I'd disagree with would be I'd give Harry a 9. I thought he was immense today and the confidence in front of (his own) goal to dribble around the oppositin and not just hoof it had my heart in my mouth becuase it reminded me of Nosworthy last season except Harry is talented.

The only negative was that Porter should have had at least two in the second half but just wasn't prepared to stick a leg out.

Some nice footbal played yesterday. It'll be interesting to see how wa fare against Charlton, and MK Dons and also the unclean.
...in front of that lot. We would've scored 15, no joke. Really enjoyed the day out and agree I haven't seen a game at BDTBL with so many chances for the Blades. Harry was huge, Williams was excellent and Ched was exceptional. Anyone know why Quinn's celebration was so extravagant? I mean there's being happy to score a goal and there's running round the pitch for 5 mins (totally ignoring the guy that supplied the pass - Ched). Looking forward to my next live match vs Charlton. Will be a totally different kettle of fish though...
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wardlowwanderer
wardlowwanderer

September 19th, 2011, 7:13 pm #7

I think it was because he was given a hard time (by the crowd) against Huddersfield because of his poor corners. But I did think it was strange that he totally ignored Ched who had supplied the pass - Ched also looked a little bemused. Here's to more games like that one.
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Joined: February 14th, 2009, 7:37 pm

September 19th, 2011, 7:30 pm #8

...in front of that lot. We would've scored 15, no joke. Really enjoyed the day out and agree I haven't seen a game at BDTBL with so many chances for the Blades. Harry was huge, Williams was excellent and Ched was exceptional. Anyone know why Quinn's celebration was so extravagant? I mean there's being happy to score a goal and there's running round the pitch for 5 mins (totally ignoring the guy that supplied the pass - Ched). Looking forward to my next live match vs Charlton. Will be a totally different kettle of fish though...
I hope I enjoy my day out at Wycombe as much as you did Paris at the lane.
I expect a win but one never knows in this game.
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bladeinthesouth
bladeinthesouth

September 19th, 2011, 8:07 pm #9

...in front of that lot. We would've scored 15, no joke. Really enjoyed the day out and agree I haven't seen a game at BDTBL with so many chances for the Blades. Harry was huge, Williams was excellent and Ched was exceptional. Anyone know why Quinn's celebration was so extravagant? I mean there's being happy to score a goal and there's running round the pitch for 5 mins (totally ignoring the guy that supplied the pass - Ched). Looking forward to my next live match vs Charlton. Will be a totally different kettle of fish though...
I don't think we have had a more perfect partnership since those 2. I think the best striker Partnership in 30 years?

I think everyone needs to keep their feet on the round at the moment. We have had a really really decent start and i'm not sure many expected the start we have had. Look at Leeds and Wednesday in recent seasons and how it fizzled out for them, we really have to treat it one game at a time.

Its the Blades way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, lets hope theres plenty about Wilson to stop this happening but for now one game at a time and for those expats getting their quota's, I hope they are pleasing afternoon's!

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parisblade
parisblade

September 19th, 2011, 8:49 pm #10

Certainly the most prolific I remember BitS.

I agree that we need to keep our heads on our shoulders, I still enjoyed the day out though ;) There are 4-5 teams that will go through teams like Colchester (no disrespect, they kept going!) like us. It's what we do against them that will shape our season. Having said that, we took a heavy defeat the Tuesday and came back strongly the Saturday. Respect to that.
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