Sheffield United 3 Rochdale 2: Collins nets winner at Bramall Lane

Sheffield United's Che Adams scores the opening goal.
Sheffield United's Che Adams scores the opening goal.
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Sheffield United had defender Neill Collins to thank after a hard-earned 3-2 win over Rochdale at Bramall Lane.

The game started at a pedestrian pace, but burst into life with a goal from Che Adams.

United had tried passing through the heart of Rochdale’s defence a couple of times, and with the visitors back line static. it seemed a ploy worth persevering with.

So when Jose Baxter produced a perfectly-time through-ball, Adams timed his run to latch on and smash the ball home.

The goal should have settled United, but they were back level on 37 minutes.

Matt Done clipped Nathaniel Mendez-Long, and Peter Vincenti smashed the penalty beyond Mark Howard.

But the Blades went into half-time in front thanks to another Adams goal.

Billy Sharp delivered a teasing cross to the back post, Adams cut inside the full-back, before drilling the ball home.

Adams and Done both missed chances to create a two-goal cushion in the second half and those spurned efforts always gave Rochdale a glimpse of an equaliser.

So it was no surprise when Lewis Alessandro fired home to make it 2-2.

But United produced the perfect response within seconds, a corner in front of the Kop was headed home by Neill Collins.

Sheff Utd: Howard, Freeman, Basham, Collins, McEveley, Adams, Coutts, Scougall, Done, Baxter, Sharp. Subs: Woolford, Sammon, Campbell-Ryce, Reed, Long, Kieran Wallace, McGahey.

Rochdale: Lillis, Cannon, McNulty, Lancashire, Kennedy, Rafferty, Lund, McDermott, Alessandra, Vincenti, Mendez-Laing. Subs: Eastham, Noble-Lazarus, Tanser, Barry-Murphy, Diba Musangu, Allen, Bunney.

Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands)

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