Ad­kins is

Happy to turn to academy

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Matt Cham­bers

NIGEL Ad­kins hailed a classy all-round dis­play from a side con­tain­ing home-grown prom­ise, as the Blades cast aside Old­ham to re­vive their play-off hopes.

First-half goals from John Bray­ford and Ryan Flynn were added to late on by Billy Sharp, al­low­ing man­ager Ad­kins breath­ing room to savour only a se­cond home league vic­tory since the run of the year.

On his full de­but, academy star­let Ben White­man had a hand in the first two goals and fel­low grad­u­ate, goal­keeper Ge­orge Long, pulled off a vi­tal save to deny Old­ham Cur­tis Main af­ter the in­ter­val.

“We needed to go and win the game and we have won well,” said Ad­kins, who also fielded academy grad­u­ates Louis Reed and Do­minic Calvert-Lewin.

“It was a good team per­for­mance and we were res­o­lute at the back.

“We lost Chris Basham who failed a fit­ness test af­ter rock­ing an an­kle in train­ing.

“But the three lads at the back did well and Ge­orge made a su­per save in goal at an im­por­tant time in the game too.

“The lads are work­ing hard and we have got a good vic­tory.We could have had this in the pre­vi­ous games, but the fact of the mat­ter is we put the ball in the back of the net early on.”

De­fen­sive jit­ters as­sisted in the 11th-minute opener. Old­ham failed to clear their lines and White­man cush­ioned the ball into the path of Bray­ford, who fin­ished neatly with a drive across Joel Cole­man in the vis­i­tors’ goal.

And White­man also had a hand in the se­cond when his hope­ful ball was col­lected by Flynn, who drove at a hole in the Old­ham de­fence to round Cole­man and fire home.

Old­ham im­proved in the se­cond half and Main forced an ex­cel­lent stop from Long be­fore ham­mer­ing against the un­der­side of the cross­bar from 30 yards out.

Sharp rounded things off, though, with a com­posed near-post fin­ish af­ter be­ing played in by Bray­ford.

“We didn’t start the game well at all and looked re­ally flat,” said Old­ham boss John Sheri­dan, who saw a sev­en­match un­beaten run come to an end.

“I thought we would deal with them.We were on a good run of form but for some rea­son, they had one or two spare play­ers on the pitch. That should never hap­pen.

“Ev­ery goal is a bad goal but all of them could have been pre­vented.

“For the first goal two of our play­ers mis-kicked it and for the third, two of our play­ers mis-kicked it.

“The se­cond was from our throw-in half­way in­side their half where we gave it away cheaply and they coun­tered us.

“We just didn’t get go­ing.”

PIC­TURES: Martin Dal­ton


CHUT Wi­gan POINT GAINED: Will Grigg cel­e­brates se­cur­ing Wi­gan a late point In­set: El­liott Lee drives in to bring Colch­ester level at 2-2


RD Sh­effie


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