Writer: Dan Malin
Date:Wednesday August 17 2011
Last night we were the victims of a heart-wrenching comeback. We went to Sheffield United hopeful of, but not exactly expecting, a win and gave them a real run for their money. On another night we`d have left Yorkshire triumphantly with the unlikeliest of scalps but it just wasn`t in the stars and no one can begrudge us of that.
You would say that the Blades are the biggest team in the division and their stadium and facilities are reminiscent of the glory days of their recent past. Their football, however, couldn`t have been further from it. We dominated the game for an hour and we deserved far more than the two goal lead we took into the final 30 minutes. Macken was desperately unlucky to see his strike brilliantly tipped onto the bar in the first half and Claude Gnakpa should have scored at 2-0 when Simonsen dropped the ball at his feet 6 yards out. At 3-0, the game`s wrapped up but we let them back into it and when they kicked it up a gear, my god how they improved. Playing like that I can`t see how any team in this division can contain them and we can have no arguments about any of the goals. We should not have let them get back into the game but we also have to hold our hands up and say that their team possessed too much quality in the final half-hour. Kevan Hurst had a half-chance at 3-2 to put us back on level terms but fair play to the jammy United centre-half who got himself in the way and got lucky in turning Hurst`s strike onto the base of the post with Simonsen stranded. Other than that, they took full control of the game, scored 3 goals and really put us to bed; we gave them a scare but it`s so often the case that the teams at the top get that little bit of luck and we were the unfortunate victims of a cruel footballing tradition.
We went to the biggest club in the division and made them sit up and take notice. That small team from the Midlands gave the best team in the country, in 1897-98, a real fight and re-affirmed Deano`s belief that we can make the playoffs this year. The league isn`t decided in 3 games and there is a long, hard slog ahead but if we can maintain this early form, get a bit of luck and surprise a few teams then the top 6 is by no means out of our reach. Sheffield United will probably have far too much quality for most the sides in this league and I can`t see them not going up but we went to Bramall Lane and gave a great account of ourselves. We could have won the game and on another night maybe we would have but there is no shame in the way we lost and that performance will have made a few teams sit-up and take us a bit more seriously than perhaps they would have a week ago.
Date:Wednesday August 17 2011
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