Date: 16th September 2009 at 12:25am
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Defensive lapses were a major factor in Sheffield United losing their undefeated record in the Coca Cola Championship at the Ricoh Arena tonight.

Goals from Jamie Ward and James Harper weren’t enough for the Blades who lost thanks to goals from Leon Best, Clinton Morrison and Martin Cranie.

It’s the first time the Blades have conceded three goals, since the start of December 2008 when Burnley managed a trio at Bramall Lane.

The Blades made just one change, with Matt Kilgallon missing due to a chest infection, so Ryan France played at full back, with Kyle Walker partnering Morgan in the centre.

The Blades defence were at sixes and sevens from the off, and were eventually punished on twelve minutes. Ex Blades target McIndoe finding Best who comfortably outmuscled Walker and got the better of Taylor before firing across goal past Bunn.

The Blades were struggling, and appeared to be the team that hadn’t won since the second game of the season, as Coventry took the game to them. It was Ryan France, the culprit for the second Coventry goal. The new signing from Hull City failed to deal with Montgomery’s ball, and was dispossessed by McIndoe, playing provider again, rolling the ball across the area for Clinton Morrison to bag his fourth of the season.

The goal ten minutes later, which would turn out to be decisive again saw an error at the back. McIndoe setting up his third of the evening after Martin Cranie headed home his corner completely unmarked.

On a more positive note for Blades fans, the two goals will provide talking points leading into the derby on Friday evening. The Blades had made it 1-1 just after half an hour; Taylor’s long ball picking out Ward who cut inside and unleashed a left footed thunderbolt that Westwood couldn’t save.

Westwood did prevent the Blades taking the lead towards the end of the half however, Stephen Quinn racing free, but was prevented by Westwood when he really should have done better.

With United trailing by two, with just 15 minutes remaining, they were given a slight glint of hope, Ward’s shot was saved by Westwood but James Harper was on hand to net his first Blades goal.

Ched Evans skimmed the cross bar in the final moments of regular time, and despite five added minutes, the Blades were unable to salvage a point.

Blades:Bunn, France, Walker, Morgan, Taylor (Stewart), Ward, Montgomery, Quinn (Evans), Harper, Treacy (Cotterill), Henderson

Unused: Bennett, Reid, Little

Kevin Blackwell
‘If you don’t take your chances and give away ‘Mickey Mouse’ goals then you don’t deserve to win games’.

‘We spurned three or four nailed-on chances that would have seen off Coventry – there’s no doubt about that – and then we give them goals.

‘If you do that, you can’t win games.

‘Effort and commitment were there, but we weren’t smart tonight.’

‘They talk about this word ‘bouncebackability’ – let’s see if that happens on Friday,’ he said.

‘There is no doubt I shouldn’t have to pick them up, that’s for sure.

‘They were frustrated tonight because they knew they should have got something out of the game.

‘I hope we’ve learnt if we create those chances on Friday they better be taken.’


25 Replies to “Defensive lapses cost Blades”

  • wasnt there last night but interesting report and comments from KB…thinness of squad showed us up, got to question sense in selling brmby without adequate cover (sure the club could have afforded to stump up wages of harper without need to sell bromby) adn the worry that we missed chances again – those who were there who missed them?…we dont have any strikers who can score it seems…hendo hasnt notched yet, evans was benched again, ward has scored a few but not from up front but wide and someone the other day said he missed a couple of one on ones…i dont think its a major worry but we need a few bodies in

  • This league is so tight, games hang by a thread bare so the one thing you can ill afford are mistakes. We made 3 tonight and got punished for all of them. A very shakey start from Walker who got caught under the ball, a mistake by Monty who flicked the ball into Mcindoe’s path for a clear run at goal and some uncertain marking from a corner for a free header. We always seemed like we were chasing it last night. An unproffessional, hurried performance with no calm from the senior players. Im not too downhearted, we could have easily won the game as daft as it sounds (check out the match stats) but gleadless, as you say, it only served to highlight the fact that our squad is thin. 2 defenders and a striker for me are needed asap.

  • Time for Cotterill as well for me. Everytime he has appeared from the bench this season he has changed games. Think Treacey has been fantastic and i like Ward cutting in from the left but Cotts is a true winger and knots up defenders. Love to see him start on Fri. Evans looked very sharp when he came on also so should start up top with Hendo. Anyone who went to Cov, opinions on France?

  • France was pretty woeful TBW. To be fair to him, he’s not a fullback, and it’s clear he shouldn’t be played there now! A number of times he went for a ball that another United player was in front of him for, and his passing was poor too. The whole back four looked really shaky last night. Walker had a mare in the first half and I don’t think he won a single header against Best. It’s very worrying what an effect losing Kilgallon had on the team. We NEED a centre back bringing in!!! On the bright side – Ward played well, along with Treacy and Cotts when he came on.

  • Defensively we were awful – but what do you expect playing a makeshift rightback and Walker at centreback. ARE MCCABE/BLACKWELL COMPLETE P*LL*CKS? – we need more than 2 centrebacks. *****u may or may not be coming but why do we leave it so late. We face the prospect of another home game against Wednesday with a makeshift side. Even if we get *****u – he may be backup for Morgan but if I recall he’s short of pace and therefor isn’t a backup for Killa. McCabe/Blackwell get your fingers out and sort it – we can’t get promoted with a squad of 17.

    One good thing I thought we looked good going forward last night.

  • Bucks – I agree, the return of the mysterious chest infection, otherwise known as a loan to a premier league club with a view to a permo in Jan, very worrying i reckon.

  • By no means should it be panic stations. A couple of loan signings will automatically make things look stronger. Any news on Taylor after hobbling off? One bloke behind me shouted out after we let our second goal in “there yer go that was f***ing Monty’s fault you stupid t*** blackwell” Not sure who he was blaming but covered both bases with that one. clever

  • Fully expect Killa to go in January. However, why would we turn deadline day bids down only to sell him (loan with view to permo) only 2 weeks later? Don’t see it myself, they will reassess in Jan is my guess when we decide to cut our losses and sit his deal out or cash in.

  • This is Beattie’s Ballbag, had to create a new account due to my old one seemingly breaking. I hope Ched’s Chopper will recieve a warm welcome. Didn’t go last night, but saw the goals on the box. Not to worry, the defeat was going to come sooner or later, much rather it was now than Friday. Plus, we may be spurred on to bounce back and it could prove a blessing. Agreed on the above though, we need some cover. Danny Poou would be a good signing as cover, but wouldnt fancy lining him and Morgan up against 2 quick strikers, Tyson and Earnshaw for example, theyd get ripped. Went on Saturday though and we looked excellent. It is starting to really get on my breasts that fans are making Henderson into the scapegoat. I think he’s playing really well. Does anyone know if Killa is fit for Friday? I think he outlined what most of us have been saying for a while now: He is the key to our plans. United under Blackwell are all about being strong, fit, and solid. But without Killa, we look frail and vulnerable. Where is Geary? Is he still at the club? France isnt a good enough right back for this level I dont think, is Geary? Is he fit? On another note entirely, Ive heard we are trying to bring in Mcsheffery and or Harewood in on loan. Thoughts? And finally, did anyone see Purse’s sweet head last night? He appears to be the dangerman for their lot at the moment. Brilliant finish from a tight angle. He did well.

  • BladesWay – Henderson was outstanding on Saturday and last night. For those in doubt his ability read what the Derby centrebacks had to say about him after the game.

    Re cover – France is not a Right Back – so we have no cover there. On last nights showing Walker is no centre back – so no cover there. Taylor went down with a back injury last night and so he could be out from Fridays game – Stuart came on. So at present we have THREE fit defenders (Geary still on long term sick). I don’t care what the finances are like or all the Cr*p about quality its just plain incompetent to get so low on numbers. Congratulations Blackwell/McCabe!! Having said that give Blackwell some credit – we’ve been getting good results and last night was far from being a disaster.

  • Last night was the total opposite of Saturdays performance at Derby. We looked nervous and very shaky at the back., Walker certainly had a baptisism of fire against Best & Morrison, it looked like Coventry fancied their chances when they found out Killa was out. Walker will be a class central defender in future, no doubt about it but he struggled with positioning last night, especially as Coventry launched everything long. The sale of Bromby has to be questioned, I know the player wanted to go for regular first team games, but he should not have been allowed out before a replacement was in place. Bromby is a better player than most give him credit for. We cannot crucify France, he was not comfortable at full back but this was his first start in that position, he is a utility player no more than that. As bad as we defended last night, it should have been over by half time, Quinn, Treacy and Taylor had very simple chances to put the game well beyond Coventry despite our poor defending. Once again I CANNOT UNDERSTAND those who continually have a go at Hendo, is he going to be the new hate player at BDTBL? He was outstanding at Derby and Coventry, strong, competitive, holds it up, lays it off, pulls in two defenders every time. A nightmare to play against, thats the type of player he is, and he’s good at it. It sounds like Blackie is doubting that Killa will be fit for Friday, I’ll bet you he plays!

  • danny s….u not coming to lane according to bbc website…interesting comments from those who were there – and very worrying! could be a right laugh against wendy if killa and taylor are out! One question from me, if france is nowhere near a right back adn can just play midfield roles, why the hell wasnt monty at right back?? we’ve enough cover in midfield in quinn, harper, several wingers and france to get through a game there…

  • Now I can understand people not wanting to criticise Henderson. He’s a united player and he tries his best. But to say he was “outstanding” against Derby is a joke!!! You’re obviously in the minority cos there was a big cheer when Blackwell finally took him off and replaced him with Evans. He had a better 2nd half against Cov on Tues but he was poor against Derby and woeful against Cov in first half. People obviously listen to the media and Blackwell and don’t actually watch him on the pitch! For a £2m striker and our 1 man frontline away from home he is simply not good enough. Play him alongside someone and it could work.

  • The more i hear the arguement the more i realise that its a case of how willing fans are to watch the type of football we create away from home. The record speaks for itself, the style is not pretty but is very effective. I dont think he’s the best striker in the league, far from it. Give me a pacey goalscorer any day of the week. However, fans of most clubs would swap the flair and style in a performance for something that works. I find it strange that the Derby players came out and spoke of their admiration for Hendo but you still have to take it on board. No-one likes playing against him and as things stand, he works, it works and the results are coming. Blade1889 I agree that evans should play more often WITH Hendo but our structure and solidity away from home is based on the 4-5-1. I wouldn’t want to compromise that and fully understand the dilemas Blacky faces. I dont always agree with him but i feel he has got that one right. Amazing how peoples opinions can contrast so much but its interesting. What i do feel is that he’s playing, the results in the main are good…people need to lay off because the negativity (and cheers when he comes off) could undermine things.

  • Blade 1889….Totally disagree. Perhaps those few idiots who cheered are the same ones who were doing the same to Quinn and Howard? Fortunately Quinn and Hendo are strong enough not to let the mindless minority upset their confidence.

  • Blade 1889, Would you describe 2 losses in 20 odd away games as ‘Simply not good enough’? United arent about individuals, look at the bigger picture. Henderson is as integral part of a well oilded machine. If he could score 25 goals a season, he would be on Man Utd’s books. In a way, he isn’t there to score goals. I know it would be nice if he did, but the way we line up away from home, 2 wide men and 3 central midfielders, it is their responibilities’ to get forward and chip in with goals while he is holding the ball up, back to goal. Why change the system when it is working? I agree the lack of cover is a silly move, which may cost us but to argue that Henderson is not doing enough is a joke! We are winning games because of his awesome holding up ability. He’s scored some goals this season too. Think it was his goal against WBA, not Evans’ and he scored a good goal against Reading. Was it his disallowed goal at Derby aswell? I can’t speak highly enough of his performances this season, think he’s really showing his value to us. France has looked pretty good away at Reading and away at Derby for the few mins he has been on. But that is in games where the opposition are chasing the game and we have alot more space round the back to exploit. Didnt go to COv so I can’t comment but I think he is a decent signing. Jack of all trades, master of none. All teams need one of those.

  • Where do people get this notion that he can hold the ball up really well? I went to Derby and Cov and 90% of the time Henderson either flicks a header on to the oppositions keeper, gives away a foul, or miscontrols it and his 2nd touch is a tackle!! Having said all that, I hope he proves me wrong and scores a hatrick tomorrow night!!

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