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Sears Goal Earns Point

17 August 2013

Draw at Bramall Lane for U's.

The U's have drawn 1-1 at Bramall Lane in another assured display by Joe Dunne's men.

Freddie Sears got the opener on twenty five minutes, before Harry Maguire equalised a minute before the break.

Neither side could find a winner in the second period but it was a well deserved point on the road for the U's.

Joe Dunne unsurprisingly stuck with the eleven players who beat Port Vale seven days previously.

He also named the same seven players on the substitutes’ bench as he did for for the U’s 1-0 victory over the Valiants.

Just as unsurprisingly David Weir did make changes to his starting line up for Sheffield United, following their 3-1 defeat at Brentford.

There were three changes from that team that lost at Griffin Park, with McGinty, McFadzean and McMahon coming in.

Prior to the game, manager Dunne had talked about his side not being overawed by the history of the Blades and playing their own game.

That was certainly the case in the opening minutes, as the U’s more than matched the hosts, as McMahon’s long range shot wide being the closest effort for the Blades.

At the other end, a Massey cross was pulled back to Freddie Sears but the U’s forward couldn’t turn and the chance was gone.

A cross from the Sheffield United right then evaded all his teammates and the U’s were able to clear without too much trouble.

With the crowd quietened, things got even better for the U’s in the twenty fifth minute, thanks to Sears’ opener.

The home side had a corner but within seconds of the ball coming into the U’s box, it was in the Blades’ net.

The corner was cleared to Sanchez Watt and all of a sudden, the U’s were breaking with a three against two man advantage.

Watt waited for the perfect moment to lay the ball left for Sears, who took one touch before passing the ball calmly past home keeper George Long and into the net.

The goal gave the U’s confidence in a half where chances were few and far between and it was the visitors that next had a sight of goal.

Ryan Dickson won a tackle against Brandy and the ball ran to Watt, who took a touch before shooting wide from just outside the penalty area.

With the crowd becoming quieter and quieter, the half time whistle was approaching when the home side scored out of the blue.

Freddie Sears gave away a cheap foul on half way and the U’s looked like they were expecting a bit of a delay while the home side set up a free kick into their area.

The free kick was taken quickly to Harry Maguire and the centre half took a few strides forward before hitting a speculative effort goalwards.

He and the crowd all expected Sam Walker to field the shot comfortably but the U’s keeper failed to do so as it swerved this way and that on its path to goal and the ball came off his left arm and rolled behind him and into the corner.

The goal came in the forty fourth minute but the U’s still had time for a free kick from Watt to be blocked.

Watt was doubly frustrated at the end of the half, and was yellow carded for dissent straight after the referee blew for half time.

The U’s had done everything that had been asked of them and would have been disappointed to go in at half time level.

The second half started with the home side looking to take the game to the U’s but the U’s were keeping the Blades at arm’s length.

Walker had recovered from his error for the goal and comfortably saved efforts from Taylor and Coady in the early stages of the second period.

On fifty five, Ryan Dickson whipped a free kick low into the near post area and Ibehre sidefooted past Long, only to be rules offside by the referee’s assistant.

Doyle shot over from distance before Walker kept the U’s level with a great save to deny Taylor again.

Brandy, the most dangerous player in the Blades’ attack, found his teammate with a reverse pass but Walker was out quick to save at Taylor’s feet.

Drey Wright and Andy Bond were introduced on sixty and sixty five minutes respectively, as Joe Dunne looked for a winner.

Both sides then had shots easily saved by the opposition keepers. Walker held a long range effort before Bond shot straight at Long at the other end.

Clinton Morrison came on for Jabo Ibehre on eighty minutes, with boos ringing round Bramall Lane for the former Sheffield Wednesday forward.

As the clock ticked over to ninety minutes, the hosts had the ball in the net through sub Jones but as with Ibehre earlier, he was offside and the goal was disallowed.

After three minutes of uneventful injury time, the final whistle went with the scores level at 1-1.

It was a deserved point for the U’s and a much improved performance from recent visits to Bramall Lane.

That was what boss Joe Dunne had asked for from his players, and that was what he got.

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