Promising Sheffield United starlets evoke Deane, Agana memories to stake first-team claim

Title-winning Blades celebrate trophy in fine style with 7-1 hammering of Colchester United
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Will Osula and Louie Marsh staked a further claim for first-team minutes in Sheffield United’s last two games of the season after scoring hat-tricks in a 7-1 U21s rout of Colchester United.

It was a day of celebration at Bramall Lane as the young Blades were presented with their third league title in a row, and they marked the occasion in fine style by putting the opposition to the sword - giving watching Unitedites memories of Brian Deane and Tony Agana, who both scored hat-tricks in each half against Chester City.

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Forward Marsh’s treble took his Professional Development League total to 21 for the season and he could have had a fourth before the break after finishing, only to be denied by an offside flag. His second in particular was a thing of beauty, cutting inside his marker before curling into the far corner, with two more impressive finishes after linking up first with Osula, and then with Sai Sachdev on the right for his third.

Marsh then returned the compliment for Osula in the second half as the Denmark youth international got in on the act with a hat-trick of his own, inside 19 minutes. Substitute Fernando Macedo added a late seventh to really put Colchester, who had pulled one back for 3-1 through Oscar Thorn in the first half, to the sword. The Brazilian had only come off the bench moments earlier and his finish, sliding in to finish in front of the Kop to wild celebrations from his supporters in the Tony Currie stand.

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“I thought we were a little bit short of our standards in the first half,” said boss Micky Collins. “We told the lads at half-time and they responded. They’ve done that all season, so credit to them,

“It’s not easy to get, and then maintain, the gap to the rest of the league. Everyone needs that driving force behind them sometimes and the lads haven’t had that because they’ve run so far clear of the rest.

“The moment you come off five or 10 per cent, you’ll get caught at some point. The players that sustain careers are ones that never dropped their levels and when the young lads do that, they’ve got a chance.

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“It’s a brilliant achievement to win leagues but we’re here to help lads have careers, here or elsewhere. Getting players into the first-team is the dream and that’s not going to change.”

United were presented with their regional trophy after the game and now enter the play-offs for the third year in a row in their bid to win the national title.