Sheffield United 3 Matlock Town 0: Ravel Morrison shines for Blades - but there’s an injury scare over record signing Lys Mousset
Sheffield United suffered a possible injury scare this evening when Lys Mousset, their record signing, appeared to limp off the field at the end of their friendly game against Matlock.
United, who ran out comfortable 3-0 winners, fielded a strong side including Ravel Morrison, Leon Clarke and Richard Stearman. Mark Duffy made his first appearance in United colours since news of his contract impasse at Bramall Lane broke.
Clarke scored twice in the first half and Kean Bryan added a third, before Mousset was introduced from the bench just after the hour mark.
The Frenchman, United’s record signing from Bournemouth, looked quick and strong during his cameo but also felt the effects of a hefty challenge shortly after coming on.
At the full time whistle, he sank to the turf and limped from the field with his right boot in his hand.
He is expected to be assessed by United’s medical staff ahead of their Premier League opener on August 10, against his former club Bournemouth.
In front of a healthy crowd at Matlock, Clarke opened the scoring with the simplest of chances, pouncing on a weak header back to home goalkeeper Jon Stewart.
Clarke rounded Stewart and touched home as early as the seventh minute.
Morrison looked certain to make it two moments later when the ball fell into his path, but the former Manchester United youngster lost his footing at the crucial moment and the chance went begging.
Stewart was at his best to palm a well-struck effort from Reece York around the post, but he could do nothing about United’s second as Clarke stroked home after a good pass from Morrison.
Morrison then had a free-kick tipped around the post by Stewart as United continued to dominate, but Stewart may feel he could have done better with United’s third as Bryan, playing in central midfield, found the corner with a shot from outside the box.
Matlock went closest when Piteu Crouz fired wide with his left foot towards the end of the first half, before Morrison blotted his copybook only slightly in the second.
He attempted an audacious scissor-kick volley after playing a delicious one-two with Clarke, but it skewed off the inside of his boot and flew out for a throw in.
Clarke then squandered an even better chance when Duffy’s cross found him in acres of space in front of goal.
The striker took a touch to steady himself, but mishit the shot terribly and watched as the ball sailed over the stand and into an industrial unit next door.
Clarke made a better fist of his next chance moments later, forcing Stewart into a smart save, before Morrison blazed the rebound over the bar; and again over the stand.
Harry Boyes hit the woodwork with a well-struck shot before Morrison made way, to a generous ovation after an impressive display, and was replaced by record signing Mousset.
Bryan tested Stewart in the home goal again with a shot from long range, the keeper saving well with his legs, and with seconds left Stearman flicked Duffy’s corner wide of the far post.
Blades: Dewhurst, K Freeman, Heneghan, Stearman (c), Wright, York, Boyes, Bryan, Morrison (Mousset 63), Duffy, Clarke.