Make no mistake, this defeat had nothing to do with any injury crisis. The starting eleven should have been good enough to see off an average but hardworking home team.
If any proof of Montgomery`s value to the side were needed, then watching an abject midfield minus his tireless running and his protection of the back four today, reaffirmed the need to get him fit quickly.
At the back, Morgan worked hard to cover the disinterested Matt Kilgallon whose attitude seemed something less than professional. His comments on Sky Sports News earlier in the week, followed by his strolling around Glanford Park for an hour, is a clear indication that he does not want to be at Bramall Lane.
Bunn picked another long range shot out of his net, the habit is getting monotonous.
This defeat just emphasises that United also miss the defensive strength that Gary Naysmith gives the left side and the confidence that Paddy Kenny gives his back four. It is too soon to panic but hurry back Monty, Wardie, Naysmith and please win that appeal Patrick!
The team lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, a departure from the “one up front” which was so successful last season, but repeatedly criticised by Blades fans. Davies played at right back with Walker in front of him down the flank?.. sometimes. Glenn Little was wide left, the two swapping wings repeatedly.
Walker`s pace down the right was causing Williams real problems, though his positioning was a bit questionable on occasion, and Harper was pushing forward. Evans was putting in good work, despite being less than fully fit and Henderson was holding up and laying off. Little took the eye on the left, seldom wasting a pass and producing a good supply of forward ball. For the first twenty minutes, United were steadily establishing a foothold in the game, with a succession of good moves, but with no end result. Hooper went to ground dramatically at the edge of the box with both Davies and Morgan giving him a piece of their minds for the “simulation” and ref Bates taking the easy way out by keeping his cards in his pocket.
Bunn had not been troubled in the game until the 23rd minute, McCann was unchallenged as he was allowed to look up, take in the scenery and hit a dipping shot from fully twenty five yards. Once again Bunn was beaten from distance, but the huge gap between the back four and midfield – where Quinn was largely anonymous – was allowing Scunthorpe far too much space.
Despite United looking stronger up front at the break, Murphy in the home goal still had very little to do.
When Blades fans were expecting a storming start to the second half, it was Grant McCann, who was having a birthday in midfield, had a chance straight from the kick off. Evans then burst through on his own to the edge of Scunthorpe`s box and was brought down by Mirfin, who was lucky only to see yellow from referee Bates who, as usual, was well behind play.
From the resulting free kick, Evans fired into Murphy`s bottom left corner, and the blades were back in the game – but only very briefly. Two minutes later, the Iron were back in front. Kilgallon and Bunn managed to contrive to make a mess of a simple long ball and from the resulting throw in on United`s left, Hooper in acres of space, who nodded on for Hayes to score easily.
Just a couple of minutes later Hooper fed Wright, whose shot rebounded off a post, for McCann totally alone once again, to notch his second with United`s defence AWOL.
Treacy replaced Little after an hour and Taylor came on for the tiring Stewart ten minutes later. Taylor instantly adding a bit more stability and positional sense at the back.
Report by Gloucblade
Blades had sold out the full 2,000 allocation with the additional away section of the Grove Wharf Stand full. Simmering just below the surface is a frustration amongst an increasing minority of fans, but this is usually confined to Bramall Lane. The away following are usually more positive but today we were treated to the full repertoire which has now moved on from booing and ironic “olays” to obscene chanting at their own team. It is hard to understand just how these fans think this will encourage the players to lift their game. Blades fans have every right to feel disappointed and let down by some of the recent performances, especially today, but their treatment of some of the young players is only going to bring back the nerves and fear which we saw in the early part of last Season.
Highlight of the Day
The £5 breakfast at Frankie & Bennies outside the ground, great value!
You can’t bring a big following and play like that – we just weren’t good enough, simple as that. We should have been good enough to get the result, despite the injuries. I apologise to the fans, we have let them down.
“I felt that we were disappointing in a few areas, although we started well. We created a few chances but they scored with their first attack and that’s the way things are going for us at the minute.
“A few people should have done better with their first goal, we were in the ascendancy at the time but we are getting punished for the slightest mistake.”