Sloppy Blades rally to make their way through

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DANNY WILSON was delighted to get the response he demanded as Sheffield United hit back at the Memorial Stadium to reach the second round.

Manager Wilson was critical of the Blades’ first-half display against the League Two side but was satisfied with the way they came back to win.

Rovers took a fifth-minute lead when David Clarkson ran at the Blades’ defence and drilled the ball home beyond goalkeeper George Long after Ryan Flynn had been robbed deep inside United territory.

The Blades, who made only one change to the starting line-up which had beaten Portsmouth five days earlier, had to wait until the 53rd minute to equalise when Nick Blackman ran on to a through ball from Chris Porter and finished from a tight angle.

Neill Collins then headed down a cross for the unmarked Porter to grab the winner nine minutes later, much to the disgust of home manager Mark McGhee.

Wilson said: “The objective was to get through but we were miles off it in the first half. We weren’t at the races and I told the lads at half-time that all their prayers had been answered.

“We didn’t compete, sat off them, were sloppy in possession and didn’t snap into any tackles.

“Perhaps we thought it was going to be easy but we paid the price when they opened the scoring.”

Opposite number McGhee said: “I’m disappointed by the result. I think we deserved something out of the game and it was there for us to get something.

“It was a fantastic finish by Blackman and I don’t think anyone can be held responsible for that. But for the second goal Garry Kenneth was pulled down and nothing was given. The referee missed it, when he had been so pernickety, and we ended up losing a goal. It was hugely disappointing.”

Bristol Rovers: Walker, Smith, Paterson, Kenneth, L Brown, Clucas (W Brown 74), Clarkson, Lund, Broghammer (Richards 74), Eaves (Norburn 74), Riordan. Unused substitutes: Gough, Clarke, Lockyer, Hunter.

Sheffield United: Long, Maguire, Hill, Collins, McMahon, Miller, Flynn, Doyle, McDonald, Porter (Cresswell 78), Blackman (Williams 71). Unused substitutes: Willis, Westlake, McAllister, Cofie, Ironside.

Referee: F Graham (Essex).

Man of the match: Nick Blackman.