The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Stephen Thirkill

NIGEL CLOUGH be­lieves his Sh­effield United play­ers should have done more to con­firm their place in the play-offs.

It had looked like United would seal a top-six fin­ish with a 1-0 win af­ter Ja­son Holt scored in the 57th minute.

But Billy Clarke lev­elled for the Ban­tams with six min­utes to go, to leave the Blades need­ing one more point to be cer­tain.

“It is frus­trat­ing to con­cede like that when we were six min­utes away from con­firm­ing our play-off place,” said Clough.

“We needed to do more to get a sec­ond goal and I thought we were off the pace for ten to 15 min­utes af­ter we scored.

“It was a scruffy goal for us to con­cede, but we have a patched up back four at the mo­ment.

“Brad­ford were hurt­ing af­ter mid­week and, on an­other day, we would have seen the game out. Hope­fully, Ley­ton Ori­ent can do us a favour on Tues­day.

“If not, we will go to Ori­ent and get a re­sult on Satur­day.”

City boss Phil Parkin­son praised his play­ers for bounc­ing back from their mid­week thump­ing by cham­pi­ons Bris­tol City.

“It has been a tough week for us and we have re­stored pride to­day, which we needed to do,” said Parkin­son.

“We cre­ated plenty of chances and had two cleared off the line. I have got to give the lads credit be­cause they kept go­ing, even when we went a goal down.

“You look for a re­sponse as a manager and I got that from ev­ery player.

“They kept the faith and the be­lief that we would get a draw. This is a hard place to come and the play­ers showed plenty of char­ac­ter.”

Billy Knott flashed a curl­ing ef­fort just wide from a tight an­gle on two min­utes as Brad­ford showed their early in­tent.

Jamie Mur­phy should have scored for United, but he could only blaze wide from close range af­ter City had failed to clear John Bray­ford’s cut­back on nine min­utes.

Billy Clarke was then de­nied by a goalline clear­ance from Chris Basham on 16 min­utes as the Ban­tams con­tin­ued to look the more threat­en­ing.

Steven Davies turned well on the edge of the box be­fore fir­ing straight at Ben Wil­liams on 35 min­utes in the last ac­tion of a dull first half.

Davies thought he had put United ahead on 56 min­utes when his down­ward header hit the post.

But United were ahead a minute later when Ja­son Holt fired home from six yards af­ter a goal­mouth scram­ble.

Bray­ford alertly headed Mark Yeates’ goal­bound ef­fort away on 80 min­utes as Blades looked to hold on to a win that would con­firm their play-off place.

But Brad­ford got an un­likely equaliser when Clarke ri­fled home his 12th of the sea­son with six min­utes left af­ter An­drew Davies’ header fell invit­ingly for him.

Sh­effield United will be guar­an­teed a play­off place if Rochdale fail to beat Ley­ton Ori­ent on Tues­day night.

PIC­TURES: Mar­tyn Har­ri­son


United ld Sh­effie OPENER: Ja­son Holt is mobbed af­ter notch­ing Sh­effield United’s goal

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