John Fleck’s ridiculous red card on Sheffield United injury return as Rhian Brewster hits big milestone

Fleck shown red card on return from injury
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John Fleck was shown a ridiculous red card on his return from injury with Sheffield United’s U21s last night. The Scottish international was one of two senior players on the teamsheet against Reading at Chesterfield, but saw red 10 minutes before half-time after fouling Jahmari Clarke.

The challenge was a little late but Fleck looked shocked to see the referee quickly brandish the red card, with fellow first-teamer Rhian Brewster shown a yellow for his protestations. With the midfielder making his first appearance since recovering from a fractured leg suffered in pre-season he was likely only scheduled to play 45 minutes anyway, with Brewster also withdrawn at the break after earlier opening the scoring.

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Fleck’s U21 red card does not affect his eligibility for the Blades’ upcoming Premier League games but could hamper any aspirations Paul Heckingbottom and his coaching staff had of using U21 games to get Fleck up to speed after months on the sidelines. United led 2-0 in the Premier League cup tie, with Antwoine Hackford joining Brewster on the scoresheet, before two goals from Reading earned them a draw.

“I thought the lads were magnificent,” said U21s boss Micky Collins. “With 11 men we were comfortable and well on top. “With 10, it was always going to be a big ask, especially with the new time added on rules. The way they worked tirelessly to defend the box, and still offer a threat going forward, was a credit to the work they put in daily. We are actually disappointed not to take all three points after a huge collective effort.”

The sight of Brewster back on the scoresheet will be a big boost to all involved, the Blades’ record signing netting with a clinical finish on his first start since returning from a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for 11 months. Speaking to the media last week he hoped that a first strike in United colours could spark a run in front of goal, as he looks to make an impact on the Blades’ survival bid and repay supporters for their faith and support while he was sidelined.