Sheffield United fans’ column: I knew a Gary Madine goal would change people's minds

There were some odd moments at the Lane last Saturday.

Thursday, 21st February 2019, 15:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st February 2019, 15:45 pm
Gary Madine scored his first goals for Sheffield United against Reading last week. Simon Bellis/Sportimage

One was Reading mysteriously persisting in passing amongst themselves in defence despite being 4-0 down, a tactic that had helped get them in that position in the first place.

Then there was a fully clothed streaker, in whom stewards showed little interest until a couple wandered slowly along the front of the John Street apprehended him as he walked equally slowly to escape them. Strange.

More agreeably, the South Stand burst into spontaneous song to serenade the legendary Lane programme seller: “Programmes three quid!”

So it was little surprise, then, that Gary Madine scored two goals, smashing them in with the confidence of a man who has scored every week, not one without a goal for a year.

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I always thought that despite his past a goal would turn any doubters his way, and so it proved.

We’re not as concerned about ex-Wednesday players as much as we used to be as we’ve had a few good ones in the last 15 years and it’s not a big deal any more.

Madine’s baggage was more to do with what he said about Billy Sharp than his criminal convictions and former club.

As soon as Billy said he was OK, he was OK.

Naturally Madine got all the post-match press but for me the man of the match was Enda Stevens.

A “Rolls Royce performance,” said Wilder, and it was.

His only mistake – a pass into the centre circle in the second half that was intercepted – stands out because it was his only mistake.

He played the Jack O’Connell position as if he had played there all his career.