Sheffield United v Millwall: Archer's heroics and 60 seconds of madness denied United a vital three points in last meeting between Blades and Lions

As Sheffield United prepare to lock horns with Milwall at the New Den this weekend, we take a look back at the last meeting between the two sides last season.

Wednesday, 26th September 2018, 1:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2018, 6:01 pm
Goalscorer Leon Clarke, Enda Stevens and John Fleck walk off disappointed after drawing with Millwall

A 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane on April 14 this year was a result that kept both sides in the play-off hunt, but in reality did neither any real favours in their hopes of gatecrashing the top six.

For United it was their fourth draw in six games, and saw Millwall's unbeaten run extended to 17 games. 

Goalscorer Leon Clarke, Enda Stevens and John Fleck walk off disappointed after drawing with Millwall

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Chris Wilder's team appeared destined to claim all three points when Leon Clarke pounced during the closing stages but, as Bramall Lane erupted, Steve Morison kept his cool and levelled almost straight from the restart.

Wilder had no complaints about his players' desire but was disappointed with the defending which allowed the Millwall centre-forward to pounce.

Neil Harris' side showed why they were also challenging for promotion but, with goalkeeper Jordan Archer making numerous fine saves, spent long periods of the contest being pushed back. Both sides eventually fell short of the play-offs, which Fulham won.

"You've not gone on that run without having something about you and we knew that,' Wilder said of Millwall.

"They were playing with a lot of confidence which the run brings and they're a tough team to beat. They get a lot of people behind the ball.

"Going the other way, the front two are a real good pair and they've got some good players. They've recruited well and they're playing with a freedom and a confidence so we always knew it was going to be a real difficult game.

"But we believed that if we played the way that we can, that we can win this game and obviously sticking our noses in front in a tight game after 70-odd minutes, was the position we wanted to be in."

Harris said: "It was a point gained for us, definitely.

"First and foremost, credit to both sides. A fantastic atmosphere here, I used to love playing at Bramall Lane and that today was a great, great atmosphere at this level.

"And two sides with so much at stake, still managed to produce some really good moments of football. But it's a good point for us because it keeps the distance between us and Sheffield United.

"Also to be one goal down here and then to come back so quick, that means it's an excellent point." Harris, meanwhile, has hinted he may tweak Millwall's formation this weekend in the latest possible compliment paid to Wilder and his Blades.

If Harris does decide to make the switch, it will be the third time in four outings United's opponents have ditched their preferred system after studying Chris Wilder's team. Millwall lost 3-1 to Fulham in the EFL Cup yesterday, after Harris made eight changes, and the former Lions striker admitted he may change his formation this weekend for the meeting with Wilder's Blades.

'It [playing 3-5-2] is something we might consider but then the personnel becomes key '“ who is fit and who is not,' Harris told the South London Press.

'When you play against good players, if you match them up player for player they can be better than you but if you are not man for man they can hurt you anyway.

'It was important we changed to get a higher press on the ball. In the first half we couldn't get near enough to to the ball to make the challenges.'

Harris is likely to revert to a more recognised side for Saturday's clash with United after admitting: 'I said to them in the dressing room: '˜Did everybody do enough tonight to warrant a place on Saturday?'

'It wasn't harsh words, just a serious question and just a little thinking time for the players.

'I am searching for the formula and I will get it right. I will get us on the front foot and we will start winning games.

'I thought some of my players performed. We have to be respectful to the opposition and say they are good players. The timing of the goals was key.'