At top six
Last-gasp Billy saves Blades’ tilt
BILLY Sharp’s 87th-minute winner had Sheffield United boss Nigel Adkins only seeing the play-off positives whilst cruelly sinking adventurous Crewe to the bottom.
Crewe’s second-half fightback from 2-0 down stunned Bramall Lane into all-too-familiar moans and groans before the leading scorer nodded United four points shy of the top six.
The overall display, like United’s season, was decidedly mixed yet Adkins insisted:“Everyone should be happy.We needed to win the game and we’ve done it with a great goal. Our first-half performance was superb.
“We were disappointed only to be one goal up, but credit Crewe for putting three up front and getting us on the back foot.
“We showed the grit and resilience we needed. It was a fantastic cross by Louis Reed and a great header from Sharpy.”
The second-half drama looked highly unlikely during a one-sided first 45 minutes.
Che Adams guided a left-foot shot past Ben Garratt from Ryan Flynn’s pass in the 18th minute but it should have been more. The goalkeeper saved brilliantly from John Brayford’s secondminute header, Sharp curled artfully against a post and Adams sent an angled shot wide when he should have scored.
But from the opening seconds when Brad Inman flashed the ball across the United box it was a different story after the break.
George Long had saved from the outstanding Inman, Charlie Kirk and substitute Billy Bingham before Ryan Flynn hooked in a second from Sharp’s header.
David Fox’s low 25 yarder crept into the corner of the net and Crewe were back in it after 68 minutes. Callum Ainley then got behind the back of a slow-moving home defence and skipper Harry Davis drove Crewe level from six yards.
A Crewe winner looked more likely before Reed’s pinpoint rightwing cross was headed joyfully home from close range by the unmarked Sharp for his 17th strike of the season.
Even then Crewe tested home nerves by twice going close during six minutes of injury time.
Crewe boss Steve Davis said:“They were two really different halves. I had to change it because trying to match them up wasn’t working. It was a risk to leave three up front but it worked and the ground started to get nervous at 2-1. At 2-2 we were thinking of winning.
“I’m disappointed not to get a point which I think we deserved.
“Our team gets younger and younger – we had teenagers Charlie Kirk and Callum Ainley out there and both did well.”
STAR MAN BILLY SHARP Sheff