Sheffield United 6, Leyton Orient 0: FA Cup first round report
Sheffield United cruised into the second round of the FA Cup by dismantling Leyton Orient at Bramall Lane earlier this afternoon.
Chris Basham, Stefan Scougall and Kieron Freeman were all on target for Chris Wilder's team before Harry Chapman claimed a hat-trick as Alberto Cavasin's hopelessly outclassed side were swept aside in ruthless fashion.
Aaron Ramsdale, making his first senior appearance for United, was called upon to make a decent save before Basham's intervention signalled the start of the rout.
But, once the hosts had asserted their authority, this fixture became a complete and utter mis-match. A training ground exercise of attack versus defence rather than potential upset.
Although Wilder will not have been entirely happy with every aspect of their work, particularly during the early exchanges, United seized control of the tie before half-time.
Basham claimed his third of the season midway through the opening period before Scougall pounced. Freeman effectively sealed the hosts' progress with a header beyond Alex Cisak as the fourth official signalled two minutes of added time.
Despite the scoreline, United were not at their best. But, given the giant strides forward they have taken since Wilder's appointment in May, they were still far too strong for League Two Orient.
Given the 49-year-old's concerns about the depth of his attacking options, the sight of Caolan Lavery producing a robust display after being introduced as a second-half substitute provided another source of encouragement.
Likewise Chapman's 55th minute strike following his chequered start to life at Bramall Lane following a loan move from Middlesbrough. The England under-20 international, handed a rare chance to impress, grasped the opportunity with both hands and also provided the assist for Freeman's header.
Chapman netted again during the closing stages before claiming his third goal and United's sixth deep into added time.
A footballing tradionalist, Wilder is not one of those seemingly intent on disrespecting the reputation of this historic, world famous tournament. A series of issues, including Wolverhampton Wanderers' refusal to grant the on-loan Ethan Ebanks-Landell permission to play, forced him to make several changes and start without a recognised centre-forward on the pitch.
With Simon Moore nursing what is described by coaching staff as a "slight knock", Ramsdale performed goalkeeping duties against the visitors from London while Leon Clarke and Matt Done both missed out through injury.
With Caolan Lavery not yet deemed fit enough to complete a full 90 minutes, Harry Chapman and Scougall featured in attack. Billy Sharp, who had complained of feeling unwell during the build-up to the match, volunteered to provide cover on the bench.
Although Wilder will not appreciate the sentiment, the contest unfolded in perfect fashion for Ramsdale who, after watching his team mates dominate possession during the early exchanges, was forced to save well at the feet of Ollie Palmer when Orient made a break.
From that point on, he was a spectator. Although, when the need arose, he communicated well with his defence.
United switched play well at the beginning of the game but lacked the intensity which has made them such a force to be reckoned with in recent weeks.
So, despite piecing together some intricate moves around the edge of Cisak's penalty area, it was Orient who enjoyed the first two chances. Sandro Semedo, the former Stoke City and Colchester winger, blazed well over the crossbar in the 11th minute.
Moments later, Ramsdale saved well at Palmer's feet after the centre-forward had been shepherded towards the byline by Jake Wright.
Basham, showing a sharp sense of what was required, kick-started United into life with a thunderous challenge on an opponent before Daniel Lafferty tried his luck from range.
Fittingly, given his contribution towards United's improved focus, it was Basham who broke the deadlock. Mark Duffy's trickery and low drive forced a 23rd minute corner which was taken by Paul Coutts. Orient failed to deal with it and, when the ball was recycled, the auxillary centre-half headed home unmarked.
Harry Chapman nearly doubled United's advantage soon after but Cisak palmed his close-range effort away to safety. Instead, that task fell to Scougall five minutes before the interval with a shot on the turn which looped into the back of the net.
When Freeman made it 3-0, a place in the second round draw beckoned.Jack O'Connell saw a header turned onto the roof of Orient's net by Ciask immediately after the restart.
Chapman pressed his claims for a more prominent role when he returns from international duty by scoring twice, in the 55th and 70th minutes, as United ran riot. He was on target again with a delicate lob over Cisak following a slip at the back.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Scougall (Lavery 46), Wright, Coutts (Whiteman 73), Freeman, Duffy (Brooks 60), Lafferty, Chapman. Not used: Long, Sharp, Brown, Reed.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Kennedy, Dunne, Parkes (Janse 79), Weir, Palmer (Bowery 35), Massey, Atangana, Hunt, Semedo, Simpson (McCallum 70). Not used: Collins, Sargeant, Pollock, Benedicic.
Referee: Nigel Miller (County Durham). Attendance: 6,099.