FULL TIME: Sheffield United 1, Peterborough United 2

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An 88th-minute strike from Peterborough United skipper Jack Payne - and then a 90th-minute winner from Connor Washington - broke Sheffield United hearts here at Bramall Lane, in a game that will not live long in the memory.

United, leading 1-0 thanks to Matt Done’s clever header on 65 minutes, were robbed of a possibly vital three points in the League One automatic promotion places when Payne’s long-range effort found Iain Turner’s bottom right hand corner.

And then to add insult to injury, sub Washington pounced to score with an assured finish and put the visitors 2-1 ahead.

United had looked good value to take three points from a game neither side deserved to win, until two moments of madness turned the game on its head and consigned them to defeat.

Done capitalised on a defensive mistake from Ricardo Santos and although his initial effort was parried away by Ben Alnwick, the former Rochdale man showed remarkable composure to head home the rebound and put his side ahead.

The goal was a welcome relief from the 64 minutes of dire football which preceeded it, save for a five-minute spell at the very start of the game when United were quick out of the blocks against their southern opponents.

United, who made one change from the draw at Crawley, replacing Terry Kennedy with Marc McNulty, started brightly, supported by a loud rour from the crowd buoyed by an emotional tribute to late Blade Dave Spencer.

Again wearing black armbands in honour of ‘Shred’, United began this encounter with pace and purpose, Matt Done and Paul Coutts both enjoying early openings.

But it was in-form McNulty who tested Posh goalkeeper Alnwick first, with a left-footed curling effort after good work from Coutts and winger Ryan Flynn.

Alnwick was a nervy spectator minutes later when Bob Harris’ curling effort sailed over the bar, and Done was flagged offside when McNulty played him through.

Iain Turner, Alnwick’s opposite number, was a relieved man moments later when a good Posh chance went begging as Kyle Vassell fired into the side netting when well-placed.

Jamie Murphy and Michael Doyle were the next two Blades players to test Alnwick in the away goal, the former with a left-footed effort after an excellent advantage by referee Oliver Langford.

A sensational crossfield pass from Chris Basham then gave United probably their best chance of the game so far. Murphy trapped it before feeding Harris, whose stinging cross evaded everyone - much to Alnwick’s relief.

Vassell was then yellow carded for his reaction to Jay McEveley’s foul as both sides continued to look for that elusive opener, and the Bramall Lane crowd grew increasingly frustrated with Langford.

Jason Holt replaced Coutts at half time and Louis Reed came on for McNulty as and eye-catching moments proved few and fat between - until Done’s intervention broke both the deadlock, and the monotony.

Posh skipper Jack Payne then hit the United post with a bobbling effort from range, and goal hero Done was replaced by Kieron Freeman with just under ten minutes remaining.

United were stunned when Payne levelled, before Washington applied the killer touch minutes later.

Blades: Turner, Flynn, Brayford, McEveley, Harris, Basham, Doyle, Murphy, McNulty, Done, Coutts.

Subs: Willis, Alcock, Reed, Freeman, Adams, Holt, Calvert-Lewin.

Peterborough: Alnwick, Smith, Santos, Zakuani, Nthle, Newell, Payne, Bostwick, Taylor, Vassell, James

Subs: Washington, Mclean, Burgess, Norris, Anderson, Henry, Beautyman

Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)