Sheffield United: James Shield analyses the key points of today's match against Preston North End
Sheffield United survived a huge scare, throwing away a two goal lead before David McGoldrick's last gaspÂ winner, as they climbed to fourth in the Championship table.
Billy Sharp and Chris Basham appeared to have put Chris Wilder's side in complete control until PrestonÂ North End punished some careless play in ruthless fashion; Daniel Johnson and Callum RobinsonÂ restoring parity.
But McGoldrick, who had earlier dragged a good chance wide, ensured United prevailed when heÂ converted from close range. The Star's James Shield highlights the key moments and big talking points,Â from the match.
Key moment: For many paying supporters, the most important decision of the afternoon came long beforeÂ kick-off when, for reasons which seem impossible to fathom, United were asked to stage a home game onÂ the same day thousands of Sheffield Hallam students moved into their new accommodation; much of whichÂ surrounds the stadium.
It caused chaos on the roads and, when the match kicked-off on time, meant manyÂ spectators were still outside.
Surely the authorities, including Sheffield City Council and the universityÂ itself, can help United petition the English Football League to ensure the situation is not repeated again?Â
Assuming, of course, a football fan's voice counts.Â
Key man: Basham, who was handed the captain's armband when Sharp was withdrawn after the break, hasÂ matured into a key player for United in recent seasons.
Both on and off the pitch. With Preston haulingÂ everyone back when the the hosts pressed forward, his runs from deep gave United's midfielder moreÂ options and helped drag defenders out of position.
His goal, a header from Oliver Norwood's set-piece, wasÂ expertly taken.
How the game was won: After being dragged into the trenches by Birmingham City on Wednesday, PrestonÂ arrived with a similar game plan; launching the odd attack forward but, for the most part, packing menÂ behind the ball whenever United pressed.
This made it absolutely vital Wilder's team scored first and, in theÂ 37th minute, Sharp ensured they did before Basham stretched their advantage. United, who later threatenedÂ to undo all their hard work, moved the ball quicker, sharper and with more intelligence than against theÂ visitors from St Andrews.
Referee watch: Scott Duncan's maths might have gone awry - six minutes of added time seemed mightyÂ generous given the second-half flowed much better than the first, when only one was awarded - but theÂ official otherwise impressed. Let players tackle and warned the opposition about some early time wasting.Â
Overall, it was a good day for the man in the middle.
Summary: United very nearly threw the game away when, after establishing a 2-0 lead, they conceded twiceÂ in quick succession before McGoldrick's late winner.
They deserved to take all three points but were inÂ danger of being forced to settle for growing complacent.
Preston, despite their position at the foot of theÂ table, were still good enough to punish this change in attitude. So why did United switch off?
The answerÂ is they were in complete control and, rather than continuing in the same fashion, began to play like theyÂ knew it.
Wilder will be delighted they won, delighted with their ability to come back but downright furiousÂ they nearly threw it all away. In the long-run, this could turn-out to be a pivotal moment in United's season;Â ensuring they never switch off again.