Olly writes his latest article following this weekend’s win at the Lane over Preston.
I was back in my seat on the Kop this weekend and noted that a lot of supporters had problems getting in on time due to students moving in during the week, plus a few traffic issues meant that the ground wasn’t quite populated prior to kick off.
It was my last game at the Lane as I’m away back to work next week but hopefully will be back for February to get the last bit of the season in. I might actually make it for Xmas or New Year but will have to see if I can make the journey from where I’ll be for those.
I was happy to see the line-up with Sharp starting up front with McGoldrick, a strong midfield of Duffy, Norwood and Fleck and a decent back five. I think Egan has improved since I knocked him a few games ago, although there were a few slip-ups from him there wasn’t too much grief. We started the game well and played some decent attacking football, and I was chuffed when we went two up through Sharp’s opener in the 36th minute and then Basham’s header early in the second half. It did go a bit pear shaped though when CW took off Sharp and brought on Johnson and went to a formation with one up front. We seemed to go flat at that point and maybe it was CW thinking of a more defensive stance to keep the two-goal lead.
That bit us in the back-side though and Preston pressed us and got their two goals to level the game, with both goals coming in the space of two minutes!
I know a lot of people on the Kop were a tad angry that we’d gone to one up front at home and even worse when we conceded.
I think CW must have realised his mistake and threw on Leon Clarke to put two back up front. This had a more or less immediate effect and McGoldrick netted at the Kop end, and he deserved the goal as he’d been running about all game and was made a pretty good impression with his output. This quietened the crowd on the Kop, but you could see the frustration with just having the one striker on the pitch as we looked nervous and were getting pushed back into our own half a lot until the change.
The referee started okay but ended up turning into the usual under-par ref we get at the Lane, a lot of decisions were going Preston’s way and we ended up getting penalised for the same offences that they were getting away with, as I noted Norwood pointing out a few times to the ref.
I believe Sharp should more or less start every game if he’s fit, not just because he’s a proven goal scorer but he’s a born leader as captain out there. When he came off there was a bit of confusion and needs someone out there to lead as Sharp does.
Henderson looks decent as well, he pulled off a few saves that kept us in it. Plus I think he’s off his head haha. He celebrates like a Blade and like he’s been here for years! I think the board should pull all the stops out and buy him off Man Utd when the opportunity comes up.
Our attendance wasn’t as big as I thought for this game though. It did show as well as there weren’t too many songs coming from the fans this weekend. Not sure why that is but I hope we can get back behind the team away at Millwall this coming Saturday. On a similar note, I think Gary Sinclair needs to return to do the announcements as the guy that stood in wasn’t that good on the PA system!
I’m hoping we can break the bogey team and the duck at the Den at the weekend and grab all the points to keep the pressure on the three teams above us in the table. We’re away at Blackburn the following weekend and then face Hull at BDTBL on the following Saturday which I reckon we could take all the points from these games.
Anyway, will be following the games from where I will be deployed as always. Fingers crossed for a push for the Premiership next season!
Olly Longden (RFA)
Sheffield United MOD/Armed Forces Supporters Branch