Striker Lyle Taylor bagged his second goal in as many pre-season matches as Sheffield United drew 2-2 with Atromitos FC tonight.
Taylor, a £250,000 summer signing from Falkirk, poked home from close range in the 90th minute to cancel out Stefano Napoleoni’s first-half brace. Chris Porter opened the scoring in the second minute.
Blades manager David Weir, given a standing ovation before kick-off by the fans in his first home match in charge, handed new boys Stephen McGinn and Febian Brandy their first starts at Bramall Lane.
United made a dream start, taking the lead after less than two minutes. Kevin McDonald, playing in a more advanced role, lifted a lovely cross towards the back post and Porter made no mistake from close range.
The hosts nearly doubled their lead in the ninth minute, with Michael Sifakis spilling Jamie Murphy’s shot from outside the area straight into the path of Porter, who bundled the ball in from inside the six yard box. However, the striker was adjudged to have been standing in an off-side position and the goal was disallowed.
Atromitos FC, who finished fourth in the Greek Super League last season, equalised in the 10th minute courtesy of Napoleoni after George Long could only parry Dimitrios Papadopoulos’ strike.
Moments later, Long, an England Under-20 international, held on comfortably to Athanasios Karagkounis’ rasping drive.
At the other end, McDonald’s fierce low right effort was brilliantly pushed to safety by Sifakis.
The visitors, beaten 2-1 by Wigan Athletic earlier this week, completed the turnaround in the 25th minute as Napoleoni grabbed his second of the evening, cutting in on his right foot from the left flank to curl a stunning shot past Long.
Marcus Williams was taken off just after the hour mark, having sustained an injury. Sean McGinty replaced Williams at left-back while Weir also threw on Conor Coady for McGinn.
Murphy flashed a free-kick from 25 yards out into the side-netting as United looked to get back on level terms.
However, Atromitos, who changed their team in the second period, came close to extending their lead with 13 minutes remaining when substitute Javier Umbides venemous free-kick deflected narrowly over off Michael Doyle.
A deft flick from Lyle Taylor released Murphy down the right flank and the Scot tried to find the unmarked Callum McFadzean in the centre but his delivery was cut out. From the resulting corner, Harry Maguire rose highest to meet Murphy’s cross but the highly-rated centre-back directed his header straight at Vasilios Barkas. But Taylor ensured it was honours even at Bramall Lane.
United: Long; Westlake (McMahon 77), Maguire, Collins (Hill 77), Williams (McGinty 61); Brandy (McFadzean 71) Doyle (Whitehouse 77), McGinn (Coady 61), Murphy; McDonald (Flynn 77), Porter (Taylor 71). Substitutes: Howard.
Atromitos: Sifakis, Papoutsogiannopoulos, Tavlaridis, Brito, Napoleoni, Karagkounis, Papadopoulos, Giannoulis, Dimoutsos, Lazaridis, Garcia
Subs: Cenamo, Jamal, Georgiou, Nastos, Kallergis, Ballas, Iglesias, Karamanos, Umbides, Gromitsaris, Barkas, Fabio