Old pals act helps Blades’ key duo shine at the Lane

Kieran Wallace
Kieran Wallace
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Monday, October 27, 2014. Ilkeston FC v Stamford, Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

Ilkeston fell behind early on, before Kieran Wallace and Che Adams combined to force an equaliser. Wallace crossed from the left, Adams made no mistake. Although Ilkeston eventually lost 2-1, but the 30 or so scouts watching the game were suitably impressed.

Che Adams

Che Adams

Adams, after an almighty scramble for his signature, signs for Sheffield United and is joined at Bramall Lane soon after by Wallace, the former Nottingham Forest midfielder.

Fast forward a year, to Tuesday, October 20, 2015. United v Fleetwood Town, Football League One.

Adams puts United 1-0 ahead, before settling United nerves with a second goal in front of the Kop; an assured finish from Wallace’s left-foot cross.

That the two instances were almost a year to the day apart, is remarkable; yet nothing is really remarkable in Adams’ rise anymore. He scored his first Blades goal in a League Cup semi-final against Spurs, adding a second for good measure and having United fans briefly dreaming of Wembley.

Second season syndrome? Not here. Seven goals in 13 games, six in the league, sees him sixth in the League One scorers chart; not even a disciplinary issue, which saw him dropped for the visit to Burton Albion, has derailed his progress.

But Wallace’s rise may be the biggest success story of all. A midfielder by trade, he made an eye-catching debut away at Fleetwood last season and earned a new deal, before being converted to defence by Nigel Adkins in pre-season.

Fans are enamoured by his all-action style, and Adkins, who saw Wallace add his second assist by teeing up Billy Sharp late on, is similarly impressed.

“I must say, Kieran has done every so well,” the Blades boss, speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash with Millwall, said.

“Che’s scored two, really good, goals then Kieran crossed for Billy in front of The Kop. We locked it down well out there and Kieran has gone from strength to strength.

“If Che keeps scoring two every game then we’ll take that, we won’t worry too much about hat-tricks!

“We went 4-4-2, a very aggresive mindset, very attack minded. We had to change the shape at the end and we saw the game out very well.”

United have scored 16 goals in their last four home games, and Adkins added: “It’s very entertaining in the regard that we scored three against a verfy spirited Fleetwood side who came here on the back of a 4-0 win over Burton, with a new manager and a mindset as we’ve seen.

“So well done to the players for breaking them down and keeping a clean sheet.”