Scunthorpe 1 Sheffield United 1: Freeman to rescue as the Blades are pressed

Nigel Clough
Nigel Clough
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NIGEL CLOUGH’S side will be looking over their shoulders as they aim to consolidate a play-off place now that hope of automatic promotion has disappeared.

The Blades salvaged their first point in three matches with a draw at Scunthorpe and head to lowly Walsall tomorrow in fifth place, just a point clear of Barnsley and Peterborough but with a game in hand.

Neal Bishop headed Scunthorpe ahead against the run of play from close range, but Kieron Freeman, recalled at full-back, fired the Blades level with an angled shot shortly before the break.

Blades goalkeeper Iain Turner also fumbled a corner from Gary McSheffrey into his net in the 49th minute but referee Darren Handley ruled it out for a foul on the goalkeeper.

Sheffield United chief Clough, who had Chris Basham suspended and was already without Terry Kennedy and Mark Howard, had employed John Brayford to deputise alongside Jay McEveley at centre-back.

His reaction to the draw was: “It’s a good point away from home. First half we played well, but to concede a goal by losing two headers was not very good, but I think they only had two chances all game.

“It was a good goal from Kieron, one full-back has crossed it and the other one has put it in.”

Scunthorpe chief Mark Robins responded: “I’ll take the point in the end, but I’m at a loss to know how we only got the one point because I thought we were the better team.”

Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Clarke, Boyce, Canavan, Williams, Evans (van Veen 73), Osbourne, Bishop (Adelakun 46), O’Neil, McSheffrey (Wootton 77), Madden. Unused substitutes: Townsend, Llera, Davey, Anyon.

Sheffield United: Turner, Freeman (Alcock 90), Brayford, McEveley, Harris, Reed, Coutts (Holt 73), Doyle, Done, Steven Davies, Murphy. Unused substitutes: Baxter, McNulty, Willis, Ben Davies, Adams.

Referee: D Handley (Lancashire).

Man of the match: Paddy Madden.