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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:44 14th February 2012

TOWN 0 SHEFF UTD 1

The Blades avenged their 3-0 defeat to Town earlier in the year with a one goal victory courtesy of Neill Collins' first-half header.

The former Leeds man finished well at the back-post and defended solidly alongside Harry Maguire to give the Blades the upper hand in the race for automatic promotion.

The Terriers had a number of good openings throughout the game in an enthralling 90 minutes of League 1 football. Town hit the post through Jordan Rhodes and saw Sean Morrison's header cleared well off the line by Michael Doyle. Lee Clark's men knocked on the door deep into injury time - but it just wasn't to be.

Lee Clark made five changes to the team that drew with MK Dons for the Valentine's Day clash against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United.

The most notable of those came in goal where Alex Smithies made his 100th League start for the Club in place of Ian Bennett. In midfield, Clark made three changes; both Gary Roberts and Danny Ward returned from injuries to flank Oscar Gobern and Anton Robinson, who replaced the injured Tommy Miller.

In attack, Alan Lee was preferred to Kallum Higginbotham, who was named amongst the substitutes.

Lee and Wilson 320

GOAL - The game began at a high tempo with both sides showing good attacking intent. In the fifth minute the visitors made a number of corners pay when defender Neill Collins headed home at the back stick. Ryan Flynn's corner was well won by Harry Maguire at the back stick who headed back across goal for his centre-half partner to head home.

The Terriers responded well and created their first chance of the game when a quick throwing released Gary Roberts, he swung a deep ball to the back stick which Danny Ward attacked well and headed the wrong side of Steve Simonsen's goal.

The home fans had to wait ten minutes for the Terriers next chance, but when it came it produced a very good save from Simonsen. The former Everton stopper was forced to dive low from Ward's 35 yard dipping free-kick, which he cleared well away from his goal.

Simonsen was forced into a fantastic save with 25 minutes on the clock when Sean Morrison's long throw was flicked goalwards by Oscar Gobern, forcing the Blades stopper to react quickly and tip the ball over. From the resulting corner, Gobern found himself unmarked at the back post but failed to hit the target from six yards out.

The Blades were playing some good football of their own and almost doubled their advantage on the half an hour mark when former Falkirk man, Ryan Flynn, crossed precisely for Richard Cresswell, but he couldn't keep his header down from eight yards out.

From the resulting goal-kick the Terriers created a superb opening for top marksman Jordan Rhodes. Smithies' long goal kick was well attacked by Lee and his flick on ran through for Rhodes who took the effort first time on the volley, but failed to work Simonsen in the Blades' goal.

Ward

Alex Smithies and Anton Robinson came to the Terriers rescue with eight minutes of the first half-remaining. The young stopper was forced into a low save when Ched Evans drove hard and low from the edge of the area; Smithies fumbled the first shot and just as the Sheffield attacker went to fire home Robinson dived in and diverted the ball away from goal. Stephen Quinn then followed up the rebound, and looked certain to score, but somehow Smithies dived full length to divert the ball away for a corner.

Town again responded well and following good work from Captain Gary Naysmith and Jordan Rhodes, Alan Lee shot on the turn forcing Simonsen into a low save.

BOOKING - United's central midfielder Kevin McDonald was the first player into the book following an act of dissent in the 41st minute.

The Terriers were within an inch of equalising in the 43rd minute when Rhodes received Jamie McCombe's chest back and rifled a volley at goal, which stuck the post with Simonsen stranded to his goal line.

HALF-TIME - TOWN 0 BLADES 1

SUB - Calum Woods replaced Oscar Gobern at the heart of the Terriers midfield during the half-time interval.

The first shot in anger of the second-half came from the boot of Cresswell, who fired well wide from 20 yards out.

BOOKING - In a strange minute of play Steve Simonsen was booked, while Alan Lee changed his shorts following an altercation with Harry Maguire.

BOOKING - Alan Lee was the recipient of Town's first caution of the evening following a late foul on Neill Collins with 59 minutes on the clock.

Oscar Gobern 320

BOOKING - Stephen Quinn received United's third caution of the night when the referee was less than impressed with his Tom Daley impression. Quinn was showing his displeasure at Mr Friend awarding the Terriers a free-kick when Harry Maguire and Alan Lee collided.

BOOKING - The players were keeping the referee busy on a called night in Yorkshire and he was forced to show his fourth yellow card within ten minutes of football when Naysmith clumsily brought down the advancing Ched Evans.

SUB - The break in play allowed Lee Clark to introduce winger Danny Cadamarteri for Gary Roberts - the switch saw Ward move to the left wing and Cads to the right.

The Terriers had found chances few and far between during the first twenty minutes of the second-half, but were within inches of taking the lead when Morrison rose highest from Ward's corner. The on loan Reading man powered a header at goal which was cleared by Michael Doyle on the line.

Clark's men were beginning to build up a head of steam and drew a smart save from Simonsen when Ward skinned Matthew Lowton before pulling the ball back for Rhodes, whose low effort was collected well by the Blades stopper.

Despite the Terriers' dominance, the visitors were looking lively on the break and after some neat passing in Town's box, Maguire somehow missed the target when it looked easier to score from four yards out.

SUB - Alan Lee made way for Lee Novak with just over 15 minutes remaining of normal time.

SUB - Danny Wilson made his first change of the game with ten minutes remaining when he replaced Richard Cresswell with striker Chris Porter.

Neill Collins had his 'keeper to thank in the 83rd minute when he lazily stuck a boot at Sean Morrison's low shot, which rebounded goalwards and into the grateful hands of Simonsen.

SUB - In the final minute of the 90, on loan Brighton striker Will Hoskins replaced Ched Evans.

Town's team (4-4-2):

Alex Smithies; Gary Naysmith (c), Sean Morrison, Jamie McCombe, Jack Hunt; Gary Roberts (Danny Cadamarteri, 67), Oscar Gobern (Calum Woods, 45), Anton Robinson, Danny Ward; Alan Lee (Lee Novak, 74), Jordan Rhodes

Unused substitutes:

Ian Bennett, Kallum Higginbotham

Bookings Town: Alan Lee 59, Gary Naysmith 80

Bookings United: Kevin McDonald 41, Steve Simonsen 56, Stephen Quinn, 61

Gate: 17,330

Away: 3,857

    Data provided by Press Association

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