Match Report: Sheffield United 1 Peterborough United 0

Matt Done scores United's opener
Matt Done scores United's opener
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Sheffield United claimed their fourth straight win in League One competition by beating Peterborough at Bramall Lane.

Matt Done scored the only goal of the game as Chris Wilder's men burst out of the blocks before they were forced to mount a rearguard action against the resurgent visitors.

Both clubs played their part in what proved a thoroughly enthralling fixture and, as such, will fancy their chances of contesting the promotion places next year.

Done had revealed his delight at being restored to his preferred attacking role before this fixture after being deployed as a wing-back for long periods last term. The 28-year-old, whose ability to stretch defences had been a major factor behind United's improved results ahead of Peterborough's visit, underlined the wisdom of Wilder's decision by quickly scoring his second in as many games following an excellent interchange involving Billy Sharp, Mark Duffy and finally Kieron Freeman.

The goal completely changed the flow of the game. Although not in the way folk would have expected.

Peterborough, one of the division's most expansive teams, discovered their poise following probably United's best 20 minutes of football since Wilder's appointment in May and produced some excellent moves throughout the rest of the game.

Paul Coutts on the attack

Paul Coutts on the attack

But this United team - Caolan Lavery made his debut late on - is a very different beast - both mentally and physically - to the one which limped to an 11th placed finish last term.

Good goalkeepers make big saves at key moments of games. And, on today's evidence, the decision to sign Simon Moore from Cardiff City looks a particularly astute piece of business.

Inevitably, Grant McCann's team created chances. But Moore helped to ensure none were converted and made two excellent blocks to deny Paul Taylor and Gwion Edwards either side of half-time.

With Chris Basham passed fit after injuring a hip at AFC Wimbledon last weekend, United were able to name an unchanged starting eleven and, predictably, slipped straight into gear.

Matt Done punched a hole in the Peterborough rearguard in the second minute before crossing for Sharp who swept his first time effort over the crossbar. Thirty seconds later, Daniel Lafferty saw another powerful attempt deflected behind for a corner which Ethan Ebanks-Landell came mightily close to prodding home.

In the 10th minute, only Luke McGee's superb reaction save prevented Done from handing United the lead. Basham and Freeman combined out wide and when the latter whipped a low centre across the penalty area, Done ghosted across his marker to touch the ball towards goal. As he prepared to celebrate, McGee somehow managed to stop his shot hitting the back of the net.

Four minutes later, though, the on-loan Tottenham Hotspur youngster was unable to stop Done turning home at the near post as United deservedly edged themselves in front.

Peterborough had shown flashes of their attacking prowess during the early exchanges. But, although Moore was able to watch several long-range efforts fly comfortably wide, they struggled to piece together any moves of note as United's high-intensity pressing denied them the space to build.

George Moncur, on loan from Barnsley, did his best to try and build some momentum before Basham stopped him in his tracks with a thunderous but clean challenge. Referee Neil Swarbrick's decision to award a foul quite rightly provoked a furious reaction from United's bench. From the resulting set-piece, the decision to penalise Jack Baldwin for barging into Moore confirmed beyond all reasonable doubt that, for better or worse, the game has changed in recent years.

Lafferty tried his luck from distance again as United searched for a second. But, by now, Peterborough were beginning to pose some questions themselves. Another fine tackle from Basham, which this time was deemed fair by Swarbrick, denied Moncur the space to shoot after drifting across the edge of United's penalty box. Then, at the other end, Sharp acrobatically volleyed over the crossbar following another Freeman pass.

With Peterborough finally finding their rhythm, United spent the next 10 minutes having their defensive resolve tested. Jake Wright and Ebanks-Landell were both forced to make good interceptions, Basham continued to busy himself and Chris Forrester, the Peterborough captain, saw a low drive deflected just past the foot of Moore's left-hand post. In the 34th minute, it was Moore's turn to excel himself by turning Taylor's fierce drive away to safety. Now, Peterborough had begun to take charge as it was United's turn to look a little rushed in possession.

Lafferty, presumably injured, was replaced by Stefan Scougall for the start of the second-half. Understandably, a change of shape also followed with Duffy now charged with patrolling United's left flank with the Scot slotting into midfield. The substitute tested McGee's reactions from distance after Moore had twiced denied Marcus Maddison.

Peterborough made a triple substitution just before the hour mark as McCann attempted to alter the dynamic of his team. United had been forced onto the back foot since taking the lead but, for the most part, dealt manfully with everything which had been thrown their way. Indeed, Scougall's introduction appeared to unsettle Peterborough with Sharp forcing Baldwin to block at close range.

In the 65th minute, Moore excelled himself again to deny Peterborough substitute Gwion Edwards an equaliser. Edwards thought he had scored after meeting a cross on the edge of the six yard box but Moore had other ideas and scrambled the ball away. Basham was cautioned as he continued to make his presence felt in midfield. But Peterborough also continued to press, chase and probe. An opportunity presented itself for Done to find the onrushing Sharp after skipping past his marker as Swarbrick played a good advantage but his centre went astray.

Moore palmed Deon Moore's angled shot clear soon after before Coutts joined Basham in the referee's notebook and John Fleck replaced Duffy. Meanwhile, United's under-18's triumphed 2-0 against Colchester earlier in the day. Jordan Hallam scored both goals, taking his tally to six in as many games, while the youngsters have now won five of their last six outings.

Sheffield United: S Moore, O'Connell, Basham, Sharp (Lavery 84), Done, Wright, Coutts, Freeman, Ebanks-Landell, Duffy (Fleck 79), Lafferty (Scougall 46). Not used: Hussey, Ramsdale, Wilson, Chapman.

Peterborough United: McGee, Smith, Bostwick, Baldwin, Forrester, Taylor (Edwards 59), Maddison, Da Silva Lopes (Chettle 59), Nichols (D Moore 59), Binnom-Williams, Moncur. Not used: Tafazolli, Tyler, White, Oduwa.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire). Attendance: 19,555.