Gillingham 1, Sheffield United 2: Six things we learned from Blades' last-gasp victory at the Priestfield
Billy Sharp's late penalty sealed all three points for Sheffield United against Gillingham this afternoon. Our man Danny Hall offers six talking points from the game.
This United team has some real bottle.
You can see it throughout the team. Chris Wilder, of course, would prefer his side didn't have to come from behind but they have done twice in one week now, after the Oxford game, and they've showed here that they won't fold after going behind. As Wilder rightly pointed out afterwards, Billy Sharp could easily have gone missing when the decisive penalty came up after missing a few chances throughout the game. But he took the ball and took responsibility, and delivered for his side when it mattered.
REPORT: Gillingham 1, Sheffield United 2The comeback kids have been revelations
It's perhaps a bit of an exaggeration to say the United careers of Paul Coutts and Kieron Freeman were over when Chris Wilder came in, but both were transfer listed and appeared destined to leave the Lane. Now, they're indespensible first-team players. Freeman has been helped by John Brayford's departure, granted, but both have seized their chances and look the players that many thought they might never be.
United have to stop going behind.
Bit of an obvious one this, but it's now six times in eight games this year that United have fell behind. Bafflingly, United's defence has looked solid in all games - apart from the Southend debacle - and again today, Jake Wright was immense and Simon Moore saved his side with a big save early on. Whether it's a case of tightening up a little more or working on taking the lead and lifting the pressure, it's a conundrum that will have Wilder scratching his head despite the win.
Some things are more important than football.
United were well on top and searching an equaliser when the clock struck 58 minutes and a round of applause rippled out from the away end in tribute to Blades-mad grandad Peter Anderson, of Heeley and a former steward at Bramall Lane. Peter passed away from a sudden heart attack last month at the age of 58, and an appeal was made to honour him with a minute's applause. Gillingham's PA announcer mentioned the idea, and all four sides of the ground gave a generous tribute to Peter in front of the Sky cameras.
Ethan Ebanks-Landell looks a player.
The Wolves youngster admitted in midweek that he is a defender, first and foremost, and his main job is to defend. It was a refreshing soundbite, and he showed exactly what he meant after coming on for the last half-hour or so. Ebanks-Landell headed and kicked everything away, and came to the help of Moore with a timely block after a rare nervy moment from the Blades goalkeeper. Daniel Lafferty also had a solid debut and despite the departure of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, United look stronger overall after deadline day.
Caolan Lavery is in for a tasty United debut
The Canadian was omitted from United's matchday squad at Gillingham due to a lack of match fitness, and he'll play in the U23s on Tuesday night at Bramall Lane. Against Sheffield Wednesday, who released him before United snapped him up. Lavery's involvement will add a tasty element to the U23 derby, and no doubt he'll be hoping to notch - both to impress his new employers, and send a message to his old ones!