Sheffield United’s first team squad completed its pre-season preparations with a defeat at York City this afternoon.
But the major talking point afterwards was the fitness of Jose Baxter and James Wallace who were substituted during the opening period of this robust but uninspiring contest.
Although neither appeared to be seriously hurt - both walked unaided down the tunnel - with the new League One campaign only seven days away even the slightest tweak or strain could force manager Nigel Clough to revise his plans for next weekend’s game against Bristol City.
Ryan Jarvis scored twice for York who return to competitive action with a trip to Tranmere Rovers while Chris Basham missed a good chance for United just before the break.
Clough’s side included new signings Wallace, Craig Alcock and Harrison McGahey in their starting eleven with Stefan Scougall recovering from a slight knock sustained against Huddersfield Town. Neill Collins, who scored the winning goal during Thursday’s match with Fenerbahce, anchored the back four alongside Harrison McGahey.
A miscommunication between the young centre-half and his former Blackpool team mate Basham allowed Michael Coulson to go racing clear in the fourth minute but the City forward’s shot was poor.
Nevertheless, the majority of play during the first-half ebbed towards Michael Ingham’s goal with Baxter and Jamie Murphy among those to test City’s rearguard.
Baxter sent a curling effort just wide midway through the opening period after Mark Howard had produced a superb save to deny Kevin Lowe.
Baxter was withdrawn soon after with Diego De Girolamo entering the fray. That was the cue for United to adopt a 4-4-2 formation with Murphy edged inside.
Bob Harris blazed a free-kick, won by DeGirolamo, over the crossbar from 25 yards.
Wallace joined Baxter in the dressing room as United’s casualty list continued to grow.
York emerged as a much more formidable proposition after the interval with Jarvis bundling home when United failed to clear their lines in the 56th minute. Jarvis pounced on another defensive slip 13 minutes later to double their lead.
YORK CITY: Ingham (Mooney 58), McCoy (Parslow 58), Coulson (Hirst 65), Penn (Montrose 58), Jarvis, Straker, Lowe (McCombe 58), Winfield, Platt, Meikle, Murray (Rzonca 46).
SHEFFIELD UNITED: Howard, Alcock (McNulty 46), Harris, Wallace (Dimaio 35), Basham (McGinn 72), Flynn, Murphy (Porter 72), Scougall (Doyle 72), Baxter (DeGirolamo 23), Collins, McGahey (Butler 72). Not used: Willis.
REFEREE: Geoff Eltringham.