Danny Wilson’s Sheffield United continued to frustrate fans with a 2-0 defeat to league leaders Charlton Athletic on Saturday afternoon.
The Blades have scored plenty at home this season but having failed to find the net against Wycombe last weekend, the strikers had a point to prove.
As is often the case at Bramall Lane these days, it was the home side that took control of the early stages, dominating possession and creating chances.
With Jean-Francois making his full return to the starting line up, United were able to attack down the left wing with fluency – the South American left-back and Stephen Quinn immediately seemed to be on the same wavelength.
Both full-backs featured in the early attacks: Jean-Francois’ drilled effort blasted wide of the Charlton’s goal just moments after Mathew Lowton’s cleverly worked free kick fizzed dangerously into the box.
Ched Evans has been fantastic for the Blades in recent weeks and he looked as sharp as ever within the first quarter of an hour.
After mesmerising the Charlton defence with a weaving run, the Welshman’s shot was turned round the post for a United corner.
It was to be yet another defender who would come the closest to netting for the Blades, as Neil Collins almost converted his chance from the corner.
Charlton skipper Johnnie Jackson cleared off the line to prevent the home side from taking an early lead.
With both sides struggling in the heat, the match began to lose its pace and quality, despite the occasional glimpse of ingenuity from Quinn or Evans for the Blades.
After the break, both teams struggled to create chances as the Bramall Lane crowd grew increasingly frustrated with the under-par strikers.
So, when Harry Maguire conceded a corner in front of the away fans, there seemed to be no threat but, with his first touch of the ball after coming on, Kermorgant rose above Collins to head home for Charlton.
It was to mark the beginning of a string of errors from Collins in an end to a match the Sheffield United centre-back will hope to forget.
With Wilson’s players in shock after conceding such a cheap goal, it wouldn’t be long before Charlton doubled their lead.
Bradley Wright-Philips took advantage of another mistake by Collins, finding the net at the second time of asking after Simonsen failed to parry his first shot away from danger.
The fans were fuming and most had seen enough as they exited the ground.
It was probably a good decision as the shell-shocked and depleted home side had nothing left to throw at Charlton, aside from a Ched Evans shot which rattled the post.
Yet another setback for Danny Wilson’s Sheffield United sees his side drop below Wednesday in the table, as cracks begin to appear in the Blades campaign.
By Sam Fletcher