Five things we learned from Sheffield United's 1-1 draw with Rochdale at Bramall Lane

It was a result which hardly set pulses racing on the terraces at Bramall Lane - but Sheffield United's 1-1 draw with Rochdale got them off the mark in League One this season.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 13th August 2016, 6:31 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th August 2016, 7:34 pm
Blades new boy Harry Chapman

Here, our man Danny Hall offers five talking points from the draw with Keith Hill's side.

A point on the board - If Sheffield United do achieve promotion this season, it's unlikely to feature high on the highlights reel but this point could be key in the coming weeks. If, for example, they had lost this game, a run of three successive defeats in all competitions would have intensified the pressure all around Bramall Lane. As it is, they can approach Tuesday's home game with Southend in a better frame of mind - which will, Blades fans hope, show in their performance.

George Long is a big talking point for the fans - Could he have done better with Rochdale's goal? I'm inclined to suggest not - on first viewing, it seemed an awkward shot to deal with, with a hint of a deflection - but the ironic cheers which greeted a catch by Long shortly after will do his confidence no good. Long is still a young goalkeeper in terms of age, at 22, and may benefit a little from an experienced 'keeper coming in to challenge him, and teach Aaron Ramsdale a thing or two.

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Billy Sharp still has that quality - It's been a quiet start to the season for United, and their new skipper in particular, but he showed today that he still has that goal touch. Chris Hussey's free-kick was inviting, Sharp made the right run and then applied a superb finish that gave Josh Lillis no chance. It seemed to take an eternity to find the net, but it did - and that's what counts in the end.

United's support is still ridiculously good - With just 500 or so away fans making the trip from Rochdale, a crowd of over 19,000 is unbelievable for a club currently suffering its sixth season in League One. They aren't the most patient bunch - probably with good reason - but, when they're on side, they are a formidable asset. A fact Chris Wilder, as a fan himself, knows only too well.

Harry Chapman offers them something different - The young Middlesbrough loanee struggled to make an impact after coming on as a substitute, but caught the eye on loan at Barnsley last season and, in the 18-year-old and Mark Duffy, United have two genuine, pacy and tricky wingers on their roster. "Harry is a highly-rated wide player with plenty of ability," said Wilder, "and I'm sure he's going to excite our supporters."