Second-half goals from Ben Davies and Chris Porter helped Sheffield United to a 2-0 victory over Peterborough United tonight to seal their eighth successive win in all competitions.
Davies, on loan from Derby County, curled in an unstoppable free kick in the 47th minute after Shaun Brisley had brought down Shaun Miller.
Porter grabbed his ninth goal of the campaign late on to wrap up the points as United kept a fifth clean sheet in a row. The result moves United up to 10th in the table, eight points adrift of the play-off placings.
Blades manager Nigel Clough shuffled his pack for the League One clash, opting to make six changes to his starting line-up. He handed starts to Shaun Miller, Stephen McGinn, Billy Paynter, Davies, Callum McFadzean and Terry Kennedy.
Out dropped John Brayford, Bob Harris, Ryan Flynn, Jamie Murphy, Stefan Scougall and Jose Baxter. Murphy and Baxter were major injury doubts, having been forced in the first half of Saturday’s triumph at MK Dons due to groin and calf injuries respectively. Harry Maguire (knee) also misses out again.
The hosts had a huge let off in the eighth minute when Neill Collins narrowly sliced Grant McCann’s dangerous corner wide.
Josh McQuoid then flashed a half volley inches off target after a quickly taken throw in by Mark Little.
Just after the quarter of the hour mark, Miller drilled a low cross into the six yard box which was clumsily deflected out for a corner by Little.
McGinn, back in side after a three-match absence, neatly turned past McCann deep inside Peterborough’s half and burst forward with purpose before unleashing a crisp right foot shot which was well kept out by Bobby Olejnik.
Ryan Flynn was brought on for McFadzean in the 25th minute just after the winger had gone close with a left foot drive.
United, chasing an eighth successive win in all competitions, almost went ahead through McGinn. His drive from just outside the area struck the left hand post and the rebound fell into the path of Paynter, who fired straight at Olejnik.
Clough’s men continued to press and Conor Coady and skipper Michael Flynn led a rapid counter attack, culminating in Miller blazing over.
Following Davies opener, McGinn blazed over after good link up between Coady and Miller.
With 17 minutes remaining, Coady nearly doubled United’s lead after a clever lay-off by substitute Chris Porter but the midfielder side-footed over.
Peterborough, sitting in sixth position in the standings, poured forward in numnbers in the latter stages but United were well organised and kept their shape and discipline superbly. Terry Kennedy, making only his second ever league start for United, was outstanding at the heart of their rearguard alongside Collins.
United restricted Posh to few clear sights at goal.
On the counter attack, United increased their advantage as substitute Chris Porter raced on to Coady’s well weighted pass and coolly slotted a shot past Olejnik.
Blades: Howard, Hill, Doyle, Miller, McGinn, Collins, Coady, Paynter, Davies, McFadzean, Kennedy. Unused: Harris, Flynn, Porter, Baxter, Scougall, Long, Reed.
Peterborough: Olejnik, Alcock, Brisley, Baldwin, Swanson, McCann, Rowe, Ajose, Washington, Little, McQuoid. Substitutes: Ntlhe, Bostwick, Payne, Assombalonga, Day, Kearns, Newell.