Olly writes his latest following Sheffield United’s Boxing Day 3-1 victory over Derby at the Lane.
Good Boxing Day Result
What a win for us on Boxing Day at home, in front of a huge crowd at BDTBL. I am still away and was hoping to watch the game on British Forces Telly, but they were showing PL games instead, so I had to resort to streaming it on my tablet.
Looking at the previous results we had, losing at home 2-1 to West Brom, and then only managing a draw away at Ipswich, I thought we might have struggled against Derby, especially after the earlier meeting at Pride Park this season, where we battled to get back into the game.
When Sharp put us ahead in the first half with a header that beat Carson, I thought we were in for a decent game, but was slightly disappointed that they pulled one back with a decent strike from a free-kick early in the second half. We went on to win it comfortably though with McGoldrick and Clarke getting in on the action as well.
To be fair we could have had a few more as well, with Sharp having a couple of efforts, including an overhead kick that, if it was another foot either side of the keeper, would have found the target. McGoldrick should have had a penalty as we all know that our players don’t go down unless properly fouled, and especially as he was about to nod the ball into the back of the onion bag!
The ref made some weird decisions in my view. I’m a bit unsure about the back-pass that their keeper got booked for, as well as some of the decisions with fouls and cards, but as I always say; we always get the bottom of the barrel for referees. In the grand scheme of things it didn’t really matter as we got the result we deserved from a decent performance from the lads.
Some of the crosses we were putting in were superb, especially from O’Connell, you wouldn’t think that a Centre-half would be able to put precise crosses in, and I haven’t seen that many since Maguire left.
The only bit of criticism I do have is with Norwood, he seems a bit quiet recently, hopefully we may get to sign him permanently, and we’ll have his undivided attention then. Stevens wasn’t too hot with the crosses either, most of his went low level or didn’t reach their intended target. He did create the opener though, so on that respect you can’t fault him, but I would like more direct precision crosses from him.
We’re up to fourth now, with Boro slipping up and us putting one over on Derby, we are in a great position now to challenge for a promotion place. There’s only ten points in it at the moment, and we’ve seen some of these gaps not making any difference towards the latter part of the season in recent years, so I’m crossing my fingers for one of the top two spots.
I was disturbing my neighbours in my adjacent cabins with a few loud “Get in’s” when we scored, which obviously led them to wonder which game I was watching! I knew we’d do well as the Leeds fan that brings me bad luck on here had gone home for a few days this Christmas, and so I didn’t have to put up with him sending any bad-luck our way. Mind you I was waiting to give him grief over the Leeds score, as I was keeping track of that and they were behind at Blackburn, being 2-1 down until Leeds got a chunk of Fergie Time and ended up with more Jam than Hartley’s when they knocked two goals in added time to win 3-2!
We’ve three decent chances in our next three games. Blackburn on Saturday, then followed by Wigan and QPR. I’m pretty certain we’ll be able to regain points from these three matches and close the gap on Leeds and Norwich. I’m off home for a few days but unfortunately will miss the Blackburn game as I’ll be on the road heading back North.
Here’s to getting back on a decent run of games.
Olly Longden (RFA)
Sheffield United MOD/Armed Forces Supporters Branch