Pre-season report: Stocksbridge Park Steels 0 Sheffield United 9 - Caolan Lavery hits a hat-trick in Blades rout

Billy Sharp in action for Sheffield United against Stocksbridge Park Steels at Bracken Moor
Billy Sharp in action for Sheffield United against Stocksbridge Park Steels at Bracken Moor
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Sheffield United opened their pre-season schedule with an emphatic victory over Stocksbridge Park Steels this afternoon.

Caolan Lavery claimed a hat-trick while David Brooks and Leon Clarke both scored twice as Chris Wilder's side cruised to a 9-0 win after Billy Sharp had broken the deadlock.
Jake Wright missed out through injury while Ched Evans was rested as a precautionary measure as he completes his own tailor-made fitness programme. But Richard Stearman was among four new signings taking part at the Look Local Stadium while academy graduates Sam Graham, David Brooks and Jake Eastwood also featured.
Brooks was on target as Wilder's players, leading 3-0 at half-time, ran riot during the closing stages. Enda Stevens, a close season signing from Portsmouth, converted a later header at the far post.
As expected United, making their first appearance since being crowned League One champions, seized control of this match straight from kick-off and did not relinquish their grip until the final whistle was blown.
Samir Carruthers, impressing with his energy and endeavour before being withdrawn as Wilder made 11 changes at half-time, twice went close during the opening exchanges. Clarke, George Baldock and Sharp also went close before the latter scored the visitors first goal of the afternoon. Two more quickly followed with Clarke, whose touch from John Fleck's pass had sent Sharp bursting through, claiming both.
Lavery ensured the second-half started in exactly the same vein as the first by punching a hole in the Stocksbridge but his overhead kick was deflected wide. He was on target moments later though when Brooks' run and shot wreaked havoc among the non-league club's defence. The former Northern Ireland under-21 international pounced again when Louis Reed forced Stocksbridge's rearguard into a another error before converting from the penalty spot following a foul on Kieron Freeman. Brooks, showing searing pace, netted either side of Stevens' effort