Sheffield United 3 Hartlepool United 1: Super Blades setting their sights on title glory as Evans shines

DANNY WILSON will not be content solely with automatic promotion – clinching the title is the Blades manager’s aim.

His side head to Carlisle today just four points behind leaders Charlton, who suffered a 1-0 defeat against Leyton Orient on Saturday.

The Blades had earlier in the day coasted to victory over Hartlepool despite having to reshape the side, Lee Williamson and Chris Porter coming in for the suspended Stephen Quinn and Richard Cresswell

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Goals from Ryan Flynn, Porter and Ched Evans put the Blades 3-0 up at the break but they were denied a clean sheet when Peter Hartley scored a stoppage-time consolation goal for the visitors.

Manager Wilson enthused: “The first half was a fantastic performance. It was 45 minutes full of everything – good defending, great attacking play, exciting wing play and goals. It doesn’t always come together but it did for the first 45 minutes.”

“We’re happy to be in second place but the goal is to still claw back Charlton’s lead and top the table.”

Evans, who took his tally for the season to 14, was in top form and dovetailed perfectly with Porter.

The opener came in the 11th minute. Evans was tackled by Hartley but Flynn took possession and drilled a low drive into the bottom right-hand corner.

The Blades doubled their lead in the 34th minute thanks to a diving header from Porter, who had been denied by a linesman’s flag moments earlier.

Matt Lowton, who went off injured early in the second half, almost scored an own goal when an attempted clearance struck the bar but he atoned by setting up Evans for United’s third in the 43rd minute.

Hartlepool’s new manager Neale Cooper made a double substitution at the start of the second-half and he saw Evan Horwood go close with a curling free-kick but the Blades soon resumed control without finding the net again.

Porter scooped over from close range and also forced a good save from Flinders.

Evans also produced a low cross which Williamson just failed to convert before forcing a fine save from Flinders.

James Beattie replaced Porter in the 80th minute and was afforded a hero’s reception.

As the game went into three minutes of stoppage time, Hartley latched on to a ricochet in the area to fire past Simonsen following a corner from former United defender Horwood.

Sheffield United: Simonsen, Lowton (Ertl 55), N Collins, Maguire, Jean-Francois, Doyle, McDonald (Montgomery 81), Flynn, Williamson, Porter (Beattie 80), Evans. Unused substitutes: Philliskirk, Long.

Hartlepool United: Flinders, Austin, Humphreys, Liddle, S Collins (James 67), Horwood, Monkhouse, Sweeney, Baldwin (Brown 46), Murray (Boyd 46), Hartley. Unused substitutes: Rafferty, Solano.

Referee: G Sutton (Lincs).

Man of the match: Ched Evans.