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Match Report


Posted Sat 11 Feb 12 at 16:59 PM


Sheffield United's persistence paid off with three second-half goals to seal the three points against a spirited Wanderers side at Bramall Lane.

For 65 minutes it appeared that a fantastic rearguard performance from the visitors might have been enough to force a draw against the promotion hopefuls, but ultimately the Blades' extra quality made the difference.

Will Hoskins netted a debut goal from close range before Ched Evans doubled the lead with a tidy finish to put the hosts firmly in the driving seat.

A deflected strike from Kevin McDonald in stoppage time rounded off the victory and leaves Wycombe needing a response against Yeovil on Tuesday night.

Gary Waddock fielded a five-man defence with Danny Foster coming in at right-back, allowing Louis Laing to join Dave Winfield and Leon Johnson in the middle, while Matty Whichelow played on the right side of midfield leaving Stuart Beavon up front on his own. Gareth Ainsworth was absent with the knee injury sustained against Tranmere last weekend.

The Blades dominated the early exchanges but found clear-cut chances hard to come by against the reinforced Wycombe backline, with a penalty appeal for a handball serving as the only incident of note in the first 15 minutes.

In fact it was the visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock when Dave Winfield's header was met by Stuart Beavon with his back to goal on the edge of the box, and the striker turned before sending a low shot narrowly wide of the post.

United's best openings came from crosses but Dave Winfield in particular was standing out as the rock in the heart of the defence, allowing the opponents to limited opportunities and wayward headers.

Kevin McDonald attempted a long-range drive which fizzed just past Nikki Bull's left-hand post on 34 minutes while Harry Maguire was further away with a similar effort as the half drew towards its close without Nikki Bull having been forced into a meaningful save.

There was a scare moments after the interval when Ched Evans fired wastefully into the side netting after the ball bounced kindly for him eight yards out, but the five-man defence was working its wonders with the most stubborn of performances, holding firm and frustrating the hosts.

But the breakthrough came on 67 minutes courtesy of substitute Will Hoskins, who marked the start of his loan spell from Brighton & Hove Albion with a simple finish from a low cross from the left to put United in front.

The lead was doubled shortly after when Matt Lowton escaped down the right and picked out Lecsinel Jean-Francois at the back post, who was able to feed Evans to convert from eight yards after some impressive footwork.

United snatched a third in stoppage time when Kevin McDonald's strike was heavily deflected en route to goal and left Nikki Bull flat-footed, finding the top corner to cement the Blues' misery.

That was enough to secure the points for Danny Wilson's men from a game in which anything would have been a bonus for Wycombe, and they must now look to summon the spirit of recent home victories when they take on Yeovil Town at Adams Park on Tuesday night.

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