Bit late for this, but just a few notes on the win at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
Utterly pointless photo of an empty Bramall Lane, taken by me
Aside from giving an embarrassingly brief interview for the official site, and having to put up with the world’s biggest twonk stood behind me, it was an enjoyable away day. It’s rare we go away and are the team in control of the match, but that was definitely the case at the weekend.
Don’t take any notice of the highlights or match reports you’ve read which made out we were under threat. That wasn’t the case. Yes, they hit the woodwork a few times. But some games you just know the other team haven’t got it in them to put the ball in the net, and Saturday was one of those.
Clingan and Carsley bossed the midfield, Ben Turner was the proverbial rock at the back, and big Clive gave Chris Morgan a right hard game. It’s since transpired that Morgan’s out for the rest of the season on account of an injury he picked up in the game. I’m not saying Clive was directly involved in that, but with all the stretching Morgan had to do, I’m not surprised he ended the game with an injury.
So we gave them a difficult game, but there were some iffy moments too. Richard Wood’s header back to nobody in the first half was bloody awful, leading to a Utd player (I forget who) going through one on one and hitting the post. If you ask me, that was the first sign that the home side were nervous. We gifted them that chance, and the old jelly legs crept in.
Their lobbed volley which hit the top of the bar was lucky it even went close. It might seem like I’m being dismissive of these chances just to prove my point, but as far as I could see there was no real belief or purpose in the attempt. It just happened to hit the bar.
We didn’t create too many opportunities ourselves, but there seemed to be genuine sense that we could score when we moved forward – in my mind at least, and you could see the Sheffield Utd defence were concerned too. I suppose our reputation is growing.
McSheffrey’s goal was far better than the highlights on the Football League show suggested. Before the cross from Gunnarsson, there was some brilliant movement and interplay between him and Jutkiewicz. It must be said, the goal-assist aside, they were the two most disappointing players on the day. Gunny had one of his famous “I’m-all-too-aware-people-are-looking-at-me-so-I-must-show-off” kind of games.
Cliveinho did his usual trick of winning a crucial header in the box, and the in-form McSheffrey stooped to direct the ball past the outstretched Simonsen. Much of that last sentence was me pretending I’m a football journo. That’s how you’re supposed to write, you see.
Anyway, I digress. It was was a very good goal, and similar in style to a lot of our goals this season.
Watching Sammy in the warm up, you could see he fancied himself from a free-kick. He had a few opportunities, and came ever so close with a Preston-style smash which had Simonsen scrambling again.
Of course the final 10 minutes were nervy. It’s us for crying out loud – no matter how well we play, you just know there’s always the chance we might do something silly. It’s happened too often in the past for us to forget about. We held firm though, and all in all, it was a pretty comfortable away win if you ask me. Contrary to some reports, I don’t think Sheffield Utd deserved to get anything from the match. From where I was sat, their 2nd half comprised a load of misplaced Fatty Reid passes and over-hit crosses.
So that win took us up to the unusual heights of 4th, which if I remember rightly, we haven’t been at this point in the season since the first year we went down.
Now, assuming we’re not planning on bringing in Jim Smith to fanny about with our winning formula again, we might just have a chance of sustaining this.