CLOUGH HAILS MIR­A­CLE MEN

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Liz Byrnes

MANAGER Nigel Clough de­scribed the point his ten-men Sh­effield United side claimed as a ‘re­mark­able ef­fort’ af­ter they came back from two goals down to se­cure a draw.

United had been forced to play with ten men from the 19th minute when Jose Bax­ter was given a straight red card by ref­eree Dar­ren Drys­dale who had lit­tle choice as the Blades mid­fielder went in to a chal­lenge with Adam Bar­ton with his studs up.

Do­minic Sa­muel then put the vis­i­tors ahead in the 33rd minute be­fore dou­bling the lead shortly af­ter the break.

A shock re­sult seemed on the cards but Michael Doyle pulled one back against his for­mer club in the 78th minute.

Jamie Mur­phy, who pos­sessed most of United’s at­tack­ing guile, equalised with a de­flected shot two min­utes later.

While United were clear favourites go­ing into the game on a run of three con­sec­u­tive wins against a strug­gling Coven­try side, con­text must be given to the fact they came back from such a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion.

Clough said: “Fif­teen min­utes to go, 2-0 down with 10 men? A very good point.

“A re­mark­able ef­fort re­ally to get back into the game at that stage.

“We played nearly 80 min­utes with ten men, scored two goals and got a point out of the game. From that point of view we’re de­lighted. At the start of the day it’s two points dropped – at half past four it’s a point gained.

“I thought they needed good foot­ball and the spirit and the fight­ing and scrap­ping and ev­ery­thing to get back into the game – a lit­tle bit of be­lief as well.”

Op­po­site num­ber Steven Press­ley paid trib­ute to his side, feel­ing that a lack of ex­pe­ri­ence was costly.

“For 75 min­utes it was a proud away per­for­mance from us.,” he said.

“The send­ing off was a turn­ing point but when you are play­ing against 10 men – es­pe­cially in an en­vi­ron­ment like this – it can be very dif­fi­cult. I thought we han­dled it bril­liantly un­til 75 min­utes.

“We found our­selves 2-0 up and I am think­ing this is the per­fect per­for­mance.

“But when they scored the first goal we didn’t show quite the com­po­sure and I un­der­stand why we’ve not won enough games of foot­ball and when you are des­per­ately try­ing to get that win a ner­vous­ness sets.”

United had emerged as the brighter of the two sides but they were re­duced to ten men when Bax­ter was sent off fol­low­ing his poor chal­lenge on Bar­ton.

Coven­try then went ahead in the 33rd minute when Sa­muel con­trolled keeper Jamie Jones’ kick and made the most of a for­tu­nate bounce by hold­ing off Bob Har­ris and slot­ting a low shot in.

The sec­ond half was less than two min­utes old when Sa­muel got his and the Sky Blues’ sec­ond, Turner par­ry­ing his first at­tempt.

Doyle looped the ball home in the 78th minute be­fore Mur­phy’s firm, low shot from out­side the box two min­utes later took a de­flec­tion and made its way into the net to level it.

SH­EFF UTD (4-4-1-1) Turner 7, Bray­ford 6, Basham 6, McEve­ley 7, Har­ris 6, Camp­bell-Ryce 6 (Kennedy 45 7), Coutts 6 (Free­man 70 7), Doyle 6, Mur­phy 7, Bax­ter 4, Done 6 (McNulty 86 N/A) Subs not used: Wil­lis, Davies, Reed, Adams

COVEN­TRY ( 4-4-2) Jones 7, Phillips 6, Pen­ning­ton 7, Martin 7, Stokes 6 (Haynes 73 6), O’Brien 6, Bar­ton 7 (Finch 53 6), Fleck 7, Wil­liams 6 (Thomas 59 6), Tudgay 7, Sa­muel 8

Subs not used: Burge, Web­ster, Jack­son, Tur­gott

PIC­TURES: Mar­tyn Har­ri­son

STAR MAN DOMIN

IC SA­MUE

L Covent

ry BACK IN IT: Sh­effield United’s Michael Doyle starts the come­back. Inset: Jose Bax­ter is sent off

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