Diminutive winger Harry Chapman produced a fine impression of a towering centre-forward as Sheffield United overcame spirited Bristol Rovers at Bramall Lane last night.
Chapman, an 18-year-old on loan from Middlesbrough, belied his 5ft 8ins stature by rising highest to dispatch a superb header 10 minutes after coming off the bench, giving Blades their fourth win in an unbeaten five-game run.
Rovers, who had edged the first half and more than held their own in the second, were rocked further when Jermaine Easter saw red shortly after Chapman’s intervention.
Darrell Clarke’s side had travelled north in decent form themselves, after successive wins over Swindon and Port Vale, and could have taken the lead early on, Ollie Clarke’s effort drifting just wide.
Simon Moore saved well at full stretch from former Sheffield Wednesday man Chris Lines’s curling free-kick in the first half, and breathed a sigh of relief early in the second when Jermaine Easter, who looked suspiciously offside, chipped over the United goalkeeper but wide of a post.
Chapman, who replaced Stefan Scougalll, scuffed wide after Billy Sharp had collided with kelle Roos, but the youngster had the findecisiveal say when he met Daniel Lafferty’s delightful cross, giving Roos no chance with his header and celebrating with an acrobatic somersault.
Sheffield United: Moore, Freeman, O’Connell, Ebanks-Landell, Lafferty, Duffy (Brown 92), Coutts, Fleck, Scougall (Chapman, 55), Done, Sharp (Lavery, 84). Unused substitutes: Ramsdale, Hussey, Whiteman, Brooks.
Bristol Rovers: Roos, J. Clarke (Moore, 62), Lockyer, Clarke-Salter, Leadbitter, Brown (James, 74), Boateng (Bodin, 62), O. Clarke, Lines, Easter, Harrison.Unused substitutes: Mildenhall, Colkett, Montano, Gaffney.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffs).