VIDEO: Sheffield United ace Long wins penalty mind-game with Reds’ Hourihane

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Conor Hourihane admitted he had been outsmarted by Sheffield United’s George Long during Saturday’s South Yorkshire derby at Oakwell.

Barnsley were trailing 1-0 when Hourihane, the former Republic of Ireland under-21 international, missed a second-half penalty before redeeming himself with a superb equaliser in added time.

George Long is congratulated

George Long is congratulated

Long produced a fine save to push Hourihane’s spot-kick around the foot of his right-hand post.

The midfielder revealed: “Me and the goalie were playing a bit of cat and mouse. I do go to the other side a lot but after scoring one on Tuesday (at Peterborough) I decided to go to the other.

“He had done his homework. Our keeper coach said that when we got the penalty their keeper was getting out the tactics on where I would go. They had done their homework.

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George Long in derby action

George Long in derby action

“I thought he might just go to the natural way I usually go. But, listen, he did me. It was a good save, so fair play to him.”

With Chris Basham edging United in front midway through the opening period, Nigel Adkins’ side appeared destined to secure their first league win away from home since August when Long produced his heroics just before the hour. But Hourihane was not to be denied and his splendid 94th-minute strike ensured a contest, which left Barnsley 24th and the Blades 12th in the table, finished all square.

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“The ball fell nicely for me and it was my one chance to redeem myself,” he said. “The gods were looking down on me.”

Hourihane added: “They could have been two or 3-0 up at one stage. Adam Davies made a good few saves for us in the second half but we got a point against a very good team.

“Their squad and the players they have mean Sheffield United should be right up there come the end of the season.”