BILLY’S RA­ZOR SHARP START!

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Roddy Brooks

SHEFFIELD United man­ager Nigel Ad­kins sin­gled out striker Billy Sharp for praise af­ter the Blades fan scored the open­ing goal in the win over Black­pool that sent them fourth in the ta­ble.

Sharp net­ted af­ter 59 min­utes and the home side made the points safe when Mark McNulty, on for the waste­ful Conor Sam­mon, got the sec­ond with 19 min­utes to go at Bra­mall Lane.

Sharp had started his pro­fes­sional ca­reer at Bra­mall Lane and, af­ter moves to seven other clubs, had failed to find the tar­get since his re­turn to a side close to his heart. Ad­kins gave credit to the train­ing ground work of as­sis­tant man­ager Andy Crosby af­ter a cor­ner rou­tine led to Sharp’s open­ing goal.

“He’s wanted to score and he’s gone and done that now. In all the games so far he has had some good chances but the goal­keep­ers have made good saves,” said Ad­kins.

“Billy wants to score, and he wants to do it here be­cause he loves this football club. It’s well done to Billy and he’s up and run­ning now.

“Andy Crosby works ex­tremely hard on the train­ing ground and that goal has come straight off there.”

Black­pool man­ager Neil McDon­ald ad­mit­ted he had set his team up to stop the Blades scor­ing and was pleased with how it worked in the first half.

“We tried to frus­trate a team of Sheffield’s mag­ni­tude at their own place,” said McDon­ald.

The Black­pool boss claimed his side should have been awarded a free-kick by ref­eree Dar­ren Dead­man for a foul on Em­mer­son Boyce shortly be­fore the cor­ner from which Sharp scored.

“They get a lot of luck and a lot of help with the first goal which should have been a free-kick for Em­mer­son Boyce be­ing barged off the ball,” said McDon­ald.

“Sharp has put that in the back of the next and the sec­ond one is a qual­ity fin­ish.

“That’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two teams – one goal which shouldn’t have been al­lowed and one qual­ity fin­ish.”

With Black­pool look­ing to frus­trate it took 18 min­utes for the first ef­fort on tar­get but Brad Potts’ shot was blocked and then David Fer­gu­son’s shot across goal went just wide.

Sam­mon headed wide from Ja­mal Camp­bell-Ryce’s floated free-kick and the striker was then de­nied just be­fore half-time when his shot was de­flected over by Tom Al­dred.

Fer­gu­son hit the post early in the sec­ond half with a curl­ing free-kick and then Sam­mon turned the ball wide from three yards from Camp­bell-Ryce’s low cross. Sharp fi­nally broke the dead­lock af­ter 59 min­utes when he got to a low cor­ner from Jay McEve­ley on the right and hit a shot that Kyle Letheren failed to hold as the ball squirmed un­der his div­ing body.

McNulty, who had re­placed Sam­mon shorlty af­ter his closerange miss, got the sec­ond with a low shot into the far bot­tom cor­ner of the goal with 71 min­utes gone.

PIC­TURES: CamerS­port

A strike by Sheffield United's Marc McNulty (not pic­tured) beats Black­pool's Kyle Letheren to make the score 2-0 BAT­TLE: Black­pool’s Henry Cameron tus­sles with United’s Kieran Wal­lace (left) and Mark Howard STAR MAN JAY McEVE

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