Sheffield United 2 Bolton Wanderers 0: We made our promotion rivals look ordinary, says Chris Wilder

Billy Sharp of Sheffield Utd celebrates scoring the first goal (Photo: Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

Billy Sharp of Sheffield Utd celebrates scoring the first goal (Photo: Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

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A Billy Sharp double saw Sheffield United beat Bolton Wanderers in a top-of-the-table clash at Bramall Lane.

Victory for League One leaders United opened up a 10-point gap over their promotion rivals, who have two games in hand.

Billy Sharp scores the second from the penalty spot (Photo: Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

Billy Sharp scores the second from the penalty spot (Photo: Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

Blades boss Chris Wilder said: “I was a bit disappointed first half, I thought we got caught up in the fight with them, exactly how they wanted us to play. It was difficult.

“We had a few words at half-time, calmed ourselves down and I thought second half we completely dominated the game. That’s the way I see it, anyway.

“Other people might see it different but I’m not so sure 27,000 people will see it that different. I thought it was a fully deserved three points and a team, especially second half, that has dismantled a decent side, with a lot of good players, pretty comprehensively.

“I think we’ve made the last two opponents look quite ordinary. When we don’t play very well, I say it as it is and when we play well, we say that we were pretty good. I think we were pretty good. No mind games, just as it is.”

The Blades were unchanged from the side which drew 1-1 with Scunthorpe United seven days ago.

Foe Bolton, there was no sign of Gary Madine, the former Wednesday striker.

United were on top in the opening exchanges, Paul Coutts seeing his effort deflected wide for a corner.

James Hanson had a header cleared off the line and Jake Wright volleyed over the loose ball.

And the goal they threatened came on 12 minutes, Sharp left alone, before drilling home via the inside of Mark Howard’s right-hand post.

Bolton came into the game as the half progressed, but Simon Moore was not called into action.

Former Blades keeper Howard thwarted Sharp from a close-range header on the hour, as United looked for a second goal.

But it was a huge error from Howard which allowed the hosts to win a penalty.

He sliced a clearance and when the ball was quickly played into the box, substitute Samir Carruthers was fouled by David Wheater and up stepped Sharp to blast home the penalty.

Victory means United have a seven-point cushion over the chasing pack in the play-offs.

Bolton boss Phil Parkinson said: “It’s a difficult place to come, Bramall Lane, but you need your strongest team out there and we were depleted.

“Key decisions, I thought, went against us in the game, especially the penalty because that was a clear dive. ‘Wheats’ has put his arms in the air straight away to get out of the way and the lad’s just bought the penalty, so at 2-0 down it was always going to be a tough ask.

“Billy’s a good player at this level and everyone knows that. He’s scored goals at this level before and he’d have been pumped up whatever the build up to the game.”

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