Sheffield United 2-1 Shrewsbury: Wilder left “slightly frustrated” as Blades fail to punish nine-man Shrews

Billy Sharp celebrates scoring the first goal (Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage)
Billy Sharp celebrates scoring the first goal (Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage)
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Goals from Billy Sharp and Stefan Scougall saw Sheffield United leapfrog Bradford City into the top two in League One following a 2-1 win against nine-man

United were unchanged from the 4-1 win at Chesterfield, as they looked to extend their ubeaten run to 13 league games.

And the Blades started off in hungry fashion, Mark Duffy only denied when his goal-bound effort hit Kieron Freeman.

But Billy Sharp was not to be denied, when he produced a clinical finish, driving low beyond Mark Halstead after a delicious pass from John Fleck.

United’s top scorer proved he was human, though, when his penalty - after Lafferty was felled by Jim O’Brien, the Shrews midfielder was subsequently sent off - was saved by Halstead.

Duffy limped off to be replaced by Stefan Scougall, and the newcomer made it 2-0 when he flicked home a right-wing cross.

Billy Sharp also saw a penalty saved (Pic Jamie Tyerman/Sportimage)

Billy Sharp also saw a penalty saved (Pic Jamie Tyerman/Sportimage)

The Blades were rampant, and it seemed just a matter of how many goals they would score.

Aj Leitch-Smith picked up on a loose ball in United’s defence, but Simon Moore was alert to save low to his left.

Scougall missed a glorious chance to make it 3-0 just before half-time.

Wing-back Laffery headed back across goal, but somehow Scougall could not get a proper connection and the ball trickled towards goal.

Stefan Scougall scored Blades' second (Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

Stefan Scougall scored Blades' second (Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

Defender Adam El-Abd initially blocked it, stood on the ball, and Halstead was relieved to grab it on the line.

Sharp headed over, as another chance went begging, but this was a fine opening 45 minutes for the Blades.

Shrews’ Abu Agogo was sent off in first-half stoppage time for a crunching tackle on Paul Coutts - who stayed off injured at half-time.

It was one-way traffic after the break, almost like a training ground routine of defence versus attack.

The League One table

The League One table

But somehow United could not get the ball in the net, much to the home support’s frustration.

And they were given a scare with 17 minutes remaining when Louis Dodds netted for the nine-man visitors.

Substitute Harry Chapman - on for the injured Freeman - fired over, as the Blades pushed for a third goal

Goalkeeper Halstead twice thwarted United, first tipping wide a shot from Matt Done, before flicking over a Sharp header.

But despite playing against nine men, United could not find a third goal and had to settle for a 2-1 win.

Wilder said: “We’re a tiny bit frustrated.

“We’re a big club, we have terrific home advantage from a great ground and terrific backing we get from the fans, and we haven’t had a rock solid home record for quite a long time.

“But that’s six home wins on the bounce for us now, 13 games unbeaten in all and we’re up to second.

“There’s a slight frustration that we haven’t put them to bed in the second half, and about their goal, but that’s all it is - a slight frustration. It’s another win for us, and we move quickly on to Tuesday night against Bury.”