A STUNNING goal from Jose Baxter helped Sheffield United rescue a point against his former club at Bramall Lane yesterday.
Baxter, a £300,000 signing from Oldham, rifled home a second-half, 30-yard free-kick to drag Nigel Clough’s side back on terms.
“It was a disappointing first half,” said Clough, “but Jose’s equaliser was a lovely, clean, old-fashioned strike. If we get him on the ball and give him time and space, he can hurt teams.”
The former Everton youngster’s strike was impressive, both in its execution and timing, as United, who trailed from the fifth minute, struggled to create openings.
Oldham, who began a point and a place above United in the League One standings, went ahead after Shaun Miller was robbed of possession. Adam Rooney delivered a delightful curling cross from the right and Jonson Clarke-Harris – in the team because of ex-Blade Danny Philliskirk’s knee injury – stole beyond Harry Maguire and glanced his header past George Long.
Clough had kept faith with the midfield three which gained a point at Stevenage, but United struggled to replicate that promising performance and visiting goalkeeper Marx Oxley was untroubled until early in the second half, when he saved Maguire’s header at full stretch.
The mood among home fans changed dramatically thanks to Baxter’s moment of magic, his third goal in four outings. He almost won the game in stoppage time, but his deflected shot hit a post and bounced to safety.
Sheffield United: Long; McMahon, Collins, Maguire, Hill; Doyle, McGinn, White (Murphy, 9 (Flynn, 86)), Baxter; Miller (Taylor, 86), Porter. Unused substitutes: Howard, Coady, Brandy, Lappin.
Oldham Athletic: Oxley; Brown, Kusunga, Lanzoni, Grounds; Petrasso (Millar, 88), Tarkowski, Smith, Mellor; Rooney, Clarke-Harris. Unused substitutes: Schmeltz, Winchester, Byrne, Rodgers, Plummer, Rachubka.
Referee: M Brown (East Yorkshire).