TWO GOALS from Mark Duffy helped Sheffield United return to the automatic promotion spots in League One with a comfortable victory over Swindon Town at Bramall Lane this afternoon.
Further goals came from Paul Coutts and Caolan Lavery in another impressive performance by Chris Wilder’s team.
Afterwards, Wilder was understandably delighted with his team, who seem to be making a stronger case for automatic promotion with each passing week.
“If we can get after the game and get after the ball, playing the positive football which we did, then the supporters will make this a difficult place for opposition players to come and play,” said Wilder.
“I want us to keep being relentless and have that attitude, getting after the opposition when they’re rocking.
“We just needed that early goal and we started off the second half on the front foot and the supporters really got behind us.
“Once we got the first, the players showed a real desire to take the score to three and four. Once the game opened up we really went for the jugular.
“We’ve been like this all season - we’re a front-foot team who go for wins.”
Most of the early pressure came from Swindon, with Simon Moore forced into a great save to deny Raphael Rossi-Branco, but it wasn’t long before the home side were in control.
Following a Swindon corner, John Fleck played in Duffy, who then fed Matt Done but he was denied by Lawrence Vigouroux.
Further chances came for Jack O’Connell and Daniel Lafferty but, surprisingly, the game remained goalless at the break.
Another chance came the way of the Blades soon after the restart when Lafferty was played in by Fleck, his effort finding Billy Sharp who drilled wide with the goal at his mercy.
The goal that had been threatened for most of the game eventually came in the 52nd minute, when good work by Lafferty and Fleck saw the ball fall to Duffy whose effort was judged to have crossed the line despite the efforts of Vigouroux.
Two minutes later, the lead was doubled when Coutts rifled home a stunning effort into the bottom corner.
Sharp had an effort ruled out for offside but, on the hour mark, the game was effectively over as a contest when Sharp crossed for Duffy to tap home from just a yard out, a fourth nearly coming soon after only for Done to be denied by Vigouroux’s legs.
A sweet moment came 13 minutes from time when substitute Caolan Lavery grabbed his first goal in a Blades shirt following a cross from Ethan Ebanks-Landell.
Chances to make it 5-0 came for Lavery – twice - and Leon Clarke, but Blades could still be well satisfied with another afternoon’s good work.
Sheffield United: Moore, Fleck, O’Connell, Basham, Sharp (Clarke 78), Done (Lavery 69), Coutts, Freeman, Ebanks-Landell, Duffy (Scougall 85), Lafferty. Not used: Hussey, Ramsdale, Wright, Brown.
Swindon Town: Vigouroux, Ormonde-Ottewill, Thomas, Rodgers, Doughty (Hylton 46), Obika (Defouneso 62), Goddard (Smith 68), Furlong, Jones, Rossi-Branco, Norris. Not used: Henry, Smith, Sharpe, Evans, Murray.
Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey).
Yorkshire Post - Football
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