MK Dons 1 Sheffield United 0: Blades beaten by rare Smith goal

SHEFFIELD UNITED slumped to defeat at ten-man MK Dons as a dramatic late winner for Steel City rivals Wednesday cut their advantage in the race for promotion to just one point.

Alan Smith’s 16th minute strike was enough to settle an entertaining contest in the favour of the ten man hosts.

United had been given hope when Daniel Powell was sent off midway through the second half after a trip on Matt Hill brought his second yellow card of the afternoon.

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Chances for the visitors were still at a premium, however, as the Dons dug in for victory.

The closest the Blades came to snatching an equaliser was right at the death when Matt Lowton’s drilled cross ran agonisingly across the face of goal without either James Beattie or Michael O’Halloran able to prod the ball over the line.

An equaliser would have been harsh on the Dons, who had created the better chances in the second half as Smith was denied a second goal by a goalline clearance by Michael Doyle and Steve Simonsen kept out a Dean Bowditch shot.

Simonsen was also relieved to see a Gary Mackenzie header rebound to safety off the post after the Dons defender had met Dean Lewington’s free-kick.

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The United goalkeeper also kept out a low shot from substitute Jabo Ibehre, who four minutes from time also hit a post.

With Wednesday snatching a victory against Carlisle United at the death, United are one point clear with two games to go in the race for second place.

For reports from all the weekend’s games, read Sports Monday, free with Monday’s Yorkshire Post newspaper.