Date:Monday September 3 2012
1st September 2012, 3pm
As a current Sheffield exile, this was the first game I've been able to attend this season. I spent the game in hospitality, in the company of several United fans and a Wednesday fan who'd heard there was free beer and was fully expecting a drubbing based on the reviews we'd been getting on these boards recently.
However the game started brightly with both teams attempting to play football the right way. Francis and Pugh worked well together down the right hand side, exploiting the obvious weakness of Matt Hill and the regular anonymity of the Blades midfield. Partington then attempted his best Harry Arter impression, somehow escaping a second booking after only 10 minutes. I'd like to think the referee showed some leniency this early on, because it was a poor challenge.
Grabban missed what I believe is one of his regular sitters after working his way into a decent goalscoring position before Tommy Elphick rose well to meet O'Kane's cross and head the Cherries into the lead.
Some angry words were exchanged across the Utd backline after this goal and they attempted to reshuffle their formation. Ryan Flynn hit back almost immediately for the home side and then put the Blades ahead after poor marking and a lack of desire to close down from Francis gave him far too much time and space to pick his spot.
Bournemouth continued to try and play football at this point, again attacking down the right hand side, but were unable to find the final ball into the box, often finding only the arms of Howard or overhitting past the back post. The Cherries were spreading the ball about well, playing the triangles getting players into space.
We fell 2 behind just before the break. Time and space were the order of the day for the third goal as well, as Cofie waltzed through and fired home from 25 yards with Jalal grasping air. Although a finish like that is rarely seen in League One, Cofie was almost allowed to repeat the feat just moments later, with the ball cannoning back off the bar.
Half time saw the introduction of Richard Hughes for his 2nd Bournemouth debut and the Cherries hit back almost immediately, Lee Barnard heading home, again from an O'Kane assist. McQuoid came on as right-winger just before the hour, with O'Kane dropping into the centre, a move which seemed a little strange, given Grabban's anonymity upfront and a record signing striker sat on the bench again.
Francis gifted Sheffield United their fourth, slipping up and allowing a cross for Cresswell to head in with his first touch. Admittedly I felt Jalal should have done better with this, seemingly lacking a decent push off to make a diving save.
Chances then seemed to die out for both sides, Fogden replaced the bright O'Kane but we never looked like scoring the 2 goals. 5 minutes before the end, a decent ball from the left fell to Grabban, unmarked, 8 yards out and in the centre of the goal. He miskicked, failing to even send the ball in a forward motion and the chance went begging.
In the 87 minute, the ball fell to Pugh on the edge of the box who teed it up and drove home the Cherries 3rd. But, with time running out, Daniels felled Blackman, the linesman gave the penalty and Blackman stepped up to make it 5-3.
Jalal - 5 - 5 Goals conceded from just 6 shots on target. Could have done better with a couple maybe...other than picking the ball out of his net he had nothing to do.
Francis - 5 - Got forward well and delivered some decent crosses, but defensive errors let him down. At fault for 2 (maybe even 3) of the goals
Addison - 6 - Did a reasonable job marking Cofie. The tackle for his booking showed a bit of passion though, which was nice
Elphick - 7 - 2 goals in 2 games. Could be the cornerstone of our defence if paired with someone who isn't Addison
Daniels - 6 - Liked to get forward like Francis, but not a defender. Caught out for the penalty.
O'Kane - 7 - 2 assists. Lost his way when moved into the centre though
Partington - 6 - Rashness almost led to 2 bookings in the first 10 minutes. Calmed down after but should have done better for Cofie's goal
MacDonald - 6 - Clearly not match fit and struggled at times. Strange choice to start, but seemingly no fully fit CMs available
Pugh - 7 - Lots went through him in the first half. Gave Matt Hill a torrid first 45. Took his goal well.
Grabban - 4 - Can't quite see what he offers. Missed 2 sitters. Roll on a fully fit McQuoid.
Barnard - 7 - Will play a starring role this year, we just need to get those crosses to him. Had Utd worried at the back
Hughes - 6 - Clearly rusty, but could be the midfield anchor we need though
McQuoid - 7 - Out on the wing, delivered some nice crosses but needs to be banging them in instead of Grabban fluffing his lines
Fogden - 6 - Little time to make impact. Didn't seem to press as much as he used to.
Date:Monday September 3 2012
Footballers found not guilty (Friday May 24 2013)
10 years ago today (Friday May 24 2013)
Flahavan: I am staying to fight for the shirt (Friday May 24 2013)
Cherries linked with Brentford striker (Thursday May 23 2013)
Win a kit for a local youth football team (Thursday May 23 2013)
Introducing the 'All Departments' podcast (Thursday May 23 2013)
Mitchell: It is paramount we keep Howe (Thursday May 23 2013)
Three more games added to pre-season schedule (Thursday May 23 2013)
Pitman: No-one expected us to go up that day (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Mitchell: Season ticket sales are fantastic (Wednesday May 22 2013)
|5. Sheff Utd||46||19||18||9||+14||75|
|7. Leyton Orient||46||21||8||17||+7||71|
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