Blades FT: Wolves 2, Sheffield United 0

Ryan Hall battles with ex-Blade Kevin McDonald
Ryan Hall battles with ex-Blade Kevin McDonald
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Sheffield United slipped to their sixth successive league defeat, with a 2-0 loss to Kevin McDonald’s Wolves side.

A flowing move forced Hill, who together with team mate Collins boasts a spell at Wolves on his footballing CV, to concede a first minute corner but the resulting set-piece was wasted by Sako.

His wasteful delivery proved an ominious portent of what was to come with first Collins and then McDonald both conceding possession in dangerous areas.

When the former United midfielder was caught napping, Brandy darted forward and released Baxter but his cross flew straight across Ikeme’s box.

While every touch McDonald made during the early exchanges was greeted with a chorus of boos from the away section, so King received the same treatment from the other three sides of the ground.

Having berated several colleagues for not slipping a quick pass through when the opportunity had allowed, the centre-forward was then involved in the ninth minute move which ended with Ikeme scrambling away Baxter’s low shot to the near post.

Harry Maguire beats Leigh Griffiths in this aerial challenge

Harry Maguire beats Leigh Griffiths in this aerial challenge

Sixty seconds later, Hall cut inside and forced another fine save from the Wolves goalkeeper before McMahon sent a free-kick just wide after Brandy, attempting to wriggle his way across the pitch, had been fouled.

Having overcome Wolves’ initial flurry, United’s threat grew as the half progressed.

A delightful touch from King found Baxter but the former Oldham Athletic youngster was crowded out before seeing another attempt deflected wide.

The two United players have quickly formed a potentially prolific partnership since being paired together by manager David Weir and the quick interchanges caused the hosts’ rearguard plenty of problems throughout the first period.

McDonald escaped a caution in the 26th minute after tripping Cuvelier as the Belgian looked to launch a counter-attack from deep.

Brandy drew yet another good reaction block from Ikeme when he looked to thread the ball inside the far post from an acute angle before turning provider with another good dribble moments later.

Cuvelier, stretching to reach the centre through, prodded the ball wide.

United, first to every loose ball and always looking to move forward, continued to test Wolves’ resolve.

Nevertheless, Maguire was called upon to make a crucial 39th minute interception when Sigurdarson broke and tried to find an unmarked Griffiths just inside United’s area. It was a reminder that, despite the fact the visitors had been by far the better team, the match was still delicately poised.

United had been bright and sharp. Wolves, who introduced Doyle for Sigurdarson at the start of the second-half, were so lacklustre that ironic cheers had reverberated around the stadium just before the interval when Griffiths forced Long to make a routine save.

Wolves captain Ricketts required lengthy treatment after an accidental collision but, despite the break in play, it had already become apparent that Kenny Jackett had delivered some stern words in the dressing room.

Indeed, in the 54th minute, Edwards was only inches away from connecting with Griffiths’ cross.

At the other end, though, Brandy headed wide after meeting King’s centre at the near post. King then fired wide on the turn after out-muscling Ricketts when they contested a long clearance forward.

Batth received a 63rd minute yellow card for a clumsy lunge on King.

Then, in the 66th, GRIFFITHS landed a crushing blow. Batth launched the ball forward, Sako cross and the striker scrambled home from close range after his first effort had hit Long. McMahon was booked soon after the re-start when his frustration got the better of him.

Wolves, though, sensed blood and seconds after Cuvelier had survived a penalty appeal for handball, Edwards saw a goal ruled-out for offside. In the 73rd minute Griffiths, who United claimed had also handled before scoring, made way for Cassidy.

Six minutes later, Forde replaced Edwards and Taylor came on for Hall.

The United substitute immediately drifted into a central position and tried to pick out the onrushing Baxter but the pass flew inches beyond his toe and out of play.

Long swatted away Sako’s effort at the foot of his near post soon after while Baxter saw another shot deflected behind for a corner after Taylor and Brandy had combined.

That was cleared and in the 90th minute - seconds after Ironside had come on for Brandy, SAKO wrapped things-up with an absolute thunderbolt of a shot from 30 yards. It nearly burst the back of the net and Long simply had no chance.