LATE GOAL HAS NIGEL BEAMING
NIGEL Adkins insisted his Sheffield United players deserved all of the plaudits after they scored a late winner to claim a crucial victory at struggling Colchester.
The Blades are a point off the play-off places in League One, after David Edgar’s 90thminute winner gave them all three points at the Community Stadium.
It had looked like the visitors would have to settle for a draw, after U’s defender Tom Eastman cancelled out Billy Sharp’s 20thminute opener for the visitors.
But Edgar grabbed a crucial late goal and boss Adkins says they deserve plenty of credit for their determination, following tough recent fixtures at Manchester United in the FA Cup and Wigan Athletic in the league.
“My players have put a shift in this week – a shift and a half – physically and mentally to do what they’ve done, so well done to them,” he said.
“The players take all the plauthe dits. At times we’ve played well and not got the points we deserved, but other times maybe we’ve got the result on the back of the week we’ve had.
“Well done to the players to show the grit and resilience they have to get the points.”
Gavin Massey fired over from a tight angle for Colchester early on after George Moncur pounced on Edgar’s mistake, and Marvin Sordell planted a shot just wide of the far post soon after for the U’s after more good play by Moncur.
But Sheffield United took a 20thminute lead when Colchester left-back Matt Briggs misjudged goalkeeper George Long’s huge clearance, and Sharp advanced into the area before eventually planting a low shot past Jake Kean.
The Blades were in charge for the remainder of the half and Matt Done sent a shot wide before halftime, as the visitors went in at the break ahead.
But Colchester were the better side in the second half and keeper Long did well to save Alex Gilbey’s long-range effort, before the U’s equalised just before the hour through Eastman – who headed home superbly from Sordell’s cross.
Long denied Moncur late on before Edgar netted from Martyn Woolford’s corner to win it at the death for Sheffield United.
And Colchester boss Kevin Keen admitted conceding that goal so late in the game was a cruel blow for his side, who are without a league win since October and are now five points from safety at the foot of League One.
He said:“I’m really disappointed as we put in a really good performance against a team with a lot of really good players.
“It was very much a kick in the teeth, but we have to take positives from the second half performance which was absolutely fantastic and we need to just keep going – that’s all we can do.
“We have 20 games and we have to get somewhere around 30 points to get in and around that 50 point mark. “At some stage, we have to pull the cat out of the bag and win a game but I’m still feeling very confident.”