[ Written by Oliver Logden]
Olly writes his latest article following the last two South Yorkshire Derby games
I apologise for not writing an article for a couple of weeks but I’ve been a bit busy away at work.
I got to watch the Wendy game on Sky on our British Forces TV on the ship I’m on, and also got to watch the Rotherham game yesterday in my cabin.
I did think we did really well against Wednesday, the lads bossed that game with constant pinning back of a Wendy side that came to Bramall Lane with an intent to just defend as much as they could. It was a shame that McGoldrick had his penalty saved, but you have to applaud the effort. It’s always difficult with derby games as there’s more rivalry that puts more emphasis on putting an extra shift in.
The way our lot played was fantastic though, all over the opposition and to only come away with a goalless draw was a bit disappointing but it did show how much Wednesday were putting themselves on the line to defend.
I think a lot of teams come to BDTBL with the ethos of coming away with a point if they can, before I came away I saw a lot of teams sitting back deep and trying to just get a point. You have to admit our style of play is a lot different to a few years ago, we’re more attacking and creative than we’ve ever been, and with the low budget deals that CW has pulled off it’s quite something that we are doing so well.
I watched the Rotherham game yesterday and to be fair to Rotherham, they took the occasion as a local derby and really put a shift in. Some of their play was attacking like ours usually is, and they have a few pacey wingers/forwards so it was inevitable that they were going to score a goal during that game.
Duffy was fantastic and took his opening goal for us really well. He was the biggest threat that Rotherham had to face in the first half. I didn’t see much of Stevens getting progression up the wings though, but Freeman did well on his side.
Obviously Rotherham had done their homework and marked Billy really well as I thought he had a pretty quiet game to be fair. I don’t think we put a shift in like we did against Wednesday. Maybe Rotherham had started the day with a view to take the game to us, but we seemed to get a bit sloppy with a few passes and got caught out a few times in midfield and defence.
Henderson got man of the match and deservedly so as he pulled off a string of magnificent saves during the game, especially in the second half tipping over the bar and also saving from point blank range. It’ll be interesting to see in the January window whether the board will put their hands in their pockets and bring this young star-to-be to the Lane.
Our second goal was a funny one, coming off the back of Freeman’s head and Basham’s face to go over the line, but it counted and was a relief to put us 2-1 up.
I’m a bit unsure to the substitutions though, we swapped Duffy for Stearman, and then Johnson came on for Billy, with Leon already replacing McGoldrick. I can understand Stearman coming on to shore up the defence and defend the score line, but Johnson fluffed it and that led to Rotherham equalising, which was a shame.
You could see CW wasn’t happy on the United bench so I just wonder if it may sway his substitution ideas against Brentford and then Leeds next Saturday. I would have thought that bringing Stearman on would have made us a brick wall at the back, but it did take a wicked deflection for Rotherhams equaliser.
Anyway, we’ve moved down to fifth in the table now, although to be honest it’s a good position and we have plenty of games left. I hope we can finish with an automatic place this season for promotion, but either way any Blade cannot deny that we are playing the best football we have in many years at the Lane.
Olly Longden (RFA)
Sheffield United MOD/Armed Forces Supporter’s Branch