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Sheffield United
3 - 0

Bramall Lane

26th January 2010

Attendance: 24,009


The Royals were comfortably beaten at Sheffield United despite creating a number of chances including a first half penalty miss. Jonathan Fortune, Richard Creswell and Chris Morgan grabbed the goals for the home side.

Brian McDermott opted to change his side bringing in Kalifa Cisse for Brynjar Gunnarsson, and switching the two strikers with Shane Long and Gunnar Thorvaldsson replacing Simon Church and Grzegorz Rasiak. It was Long who had the best chance of the opening exchanges but he couldn`t get his shot away properly and keeper Mark Bunn saved easily.

Welsh striker Ched Evans went up the other end and headed a good chance over Adam Federici`s goal and then the Aussie keeper had to be alert to keep out Jamie Ward`s long range effort. Unfortunately from the resulting corner Jonathan Fortune was given far too much space to set himself up for a volley and the centre back was celebrating his first goal for the Blades.

Jobi McAnuff hit a long range drive that Bunn did very well to turn away, and the wingers effort looked a lot closer on second viewing on the big screen than it did from the away end! Ivar Ingimarsson also had a header stopped by on the on loan Blackburn keeper and Thorvaldsson had a decent opening and the Royals were growing in confidence.

Then Long turned Chris Morgan in the area and the Blades centre back fouled our Irish striker and we were awarded a penalty. Gylfi Sigurdsson stepped up with a two from two record from the spot this season, including one at Anfield, but his weak effort was easily saved by the in form Bunn.

Typical of the way our season has gone thus far, United went up the other end and grabbed a second before the break. Kyle Walker broke into the area and his cross come shot was saved by Federici but he could only push the ball up in the air and Richard Cresswell was given the freedom of our six yard to head into the empty net. Matt Mills and Ingimarsson had been dragged out of position and Andy Griffin had failed to cover leaving the former Stoke striker with a gift wrapped goal.

At the break the woeful Cisse was replaced by former Blades man Brian Howard and the midfielder played a part in a move that saw Thorvaldsson set up Long but his effort when clean through on goal was saved by Bunn again.

When no early goal arrived you knew it was game over and the match descended into a dull period before a deep free kick was flicked on by Ward and was dropping into the net but Morgan got the final touch and claim the goal.

Jimmy Kebe and Rasiak were introduced late in the game, and the Mali winger went close with a long range effort but both players were dreadful and lack the battle for a relegation dog fight, something we are now most definitely in after dropping to second bottom after Plymouth`s win.

Star Player

No one can really call themselves the star man, there were some dreadful performances including Cisse and Ingimarsson. However Shane Long did look lively throughout and won the penalty and at least he had a few chances even if he missed them.

Writer:Steve Guscott
Date:Wednesday January 27 2010
Time: 10:23AM

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