Sheffield United 4 Port Vale 0: Wilder praise for impressive Blades

Ethan Ebanks-Landell of Sheffield Utd celebrates scoring the first goal with Paul Coutts
Ethan Ebanks-Landell of Sheffield Utd celebrates scoring the first goal with Paul Coutts
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Sheffield United stretched their unbeaten run when they thrashed Port Vale at Bramall Lane in League One.

United had the ball in the net in the opening 20 minutes, from Matt Done’s header, but it was ruled out for offside.

But there was no denying the Blades, who took the lead when Ethan Ebanks-Landell headed in John Fleck’s corner.

United thought they had made it 2-0 when Fleck’s long-range effort hit the back of the net.

But the officials deemed it had hit Billy Sharp - standing offside - on the way and the goal was chalked off.

United got the second goal their first-half display warranted when defender Ebanks-Landell volleyed home as the ball bounced around in the area.

Amazingly, United had a third goal ruled out for offside at the start of the second half, Duffy’s cross picking put Done who tapped home at the Kop end, but once more referee Mark Heywood halted play.

It was 3-0 on 62 minutes. United broke, as Vale pushed bodies forward, and had four against two.

The ball was played right to Sharp, whose initial shot was blocked, but it fell to Mark Duffy who had time to pick his spot with defenders on the line.

Sharp was denied again, by the offside flag, which seemed another marginal decision.

United were dominant, and goalkeeper Simon Moore had to be alert to thwart Alex Jones, but it was soon 4-0.

Good build-up play saw Sharp head the ball back for substitute Stefan Scougall to score.

United manager Chris Wilder said: “It was entertaining and we played some really good stuff. We had to make sure we were right at it and we were.

“Big Ethan scored from set-pieces and we’re satisfied. We have to play well to get into those sort of positions and to score from all over the pitch. Our opponents are in a good position in the league so I’m delighted.

“We feel we could have scored more and four were ruled out for offside, which were borderline decisions.

“Billy Sharp wants to win games of football and he’s been outstanding. We’re all delighted that we’ve won the game of football. We responded well and got after the opposition.

“We’re looking for the next win. We haven’t had all the results so far so we have to concentrate and move on to a tough away game on Tuesday night (at Shrewsbury).”

Sheff Utd: Moore, Wright, Ebanks-Landell, O’Connell, Freeman,

Coutts, Duffy, Fleck, Lafferty, Done, Sharp. Subs: Hussey,

Scougall, Lavery, Ramsdale, Brown, Whiteman, Chapman.

Port Vale: Alnwick, Purkiss, Streete, Smith, Knops, Jones,

Amoros, Grant, Hart, Foley, Paterson. Subs: MacIntosh, Cicilia,

Mbamba, Turner, Kiko, Pereira, Miguel Santos.

Referee: Mark Heywood (Cheshire)

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