Mur­phy’s tricks are too much for Boro

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Liz Byrnes To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

JAMIE Mur­phy ex­pects noth­ing but a bat­tle against Tran­mere on Easter Mon­day af­ter Sh­effield United kept up their out­side push for the play-offs with a win over Steve­nage at Bra­mall Lane.

John Mous­inho’s early own goal fol­low­ing trick­ery from Mur­phy on the by­line was enough for the Blades to take all three points against doomed Steve­nage.

Vic­tory moved United up to ninth in Sky Bet League One, eight points be­hind sixth-placed Peter­bor­ough with a game in hand and four matches left.

The Blades travel to Tran­mere, who are two places above the drop zone, on Mon­day and winger Mur­phy – who tore Steve­nage apart in the first half – knows his team face a tough en­counter.

He said:“It’s go­ing to be an­other dif­fi­cult game. We did well to beat them at home. We need to have it within our­selves to keep go­ing no mat­ter how many points we are be­hind Peter­bor­ough.

“Even if it wasn’t pos­si­ble to make the play-offs I’m sure we’d still be try­ing to give 100 per cent in ev­ery game. I don’t think the man­ager would ac­cept any­thing less. There is a chance of a play-off place and that is an ex­tra in­cen­tive to win these last four games.”

The Blades went ahead in the tenth minute when Mous­inho put the ball into his own net af­ter Mur­phy had sent a dan­ger­ous ball across the face of goal from the by­line.

Steve­nage grew in con­fi­dence and Luke Free­man caught John Bray­ford in pos­ses­sion in the area only for goal­keeper Mark Howard to be alert and block.

Jose Bax­ter then cleared Luke Jones’ header off the line and Fran­cois Zoko’s shot had Howard scam­per­ing across his line to gather.

Free­man’s in­jury-time drive was tipped over by Howard but United ground it out. While United dom­i­nated the first half, the vis­i­tors came back in the sec­ond and a point would not have been un­de­served.

How­ever, they are now seven points from safety with three games left and League Two beck­on­ing. Man­ager Gra­ham West­ley said:“In the sec­ond half I thought we got on top of the game and took it to them.You prob­a­bly won’t see many more dom­i­nant per­for­mances in terms of pos­ses­sion and ter­ri­tory than you saw in the sec­ond half.

“On a dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sion that could very well have been a Steve­nage win and cer­tainly a point was the least I thought we de­served. Let’s ad­dress that (rel­e­ga­tion) when and if it hap­pens. Let’s con­cen­trate on win­ning against Bris­tol City.”

STAR MAN JAMIE MURPH

Y Sh­eff United

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