WILDER IS GUNNING FOR TITLE
SHEFFIELD United moved ever nearer to the League One title with this comfortable win over relegation threatened Port Vale, leaving boss Chris Wilder purring at the ruthless and workmanlike performance.
First-half goals from Jay O’Shea and Leon Clarke put the Blades in command, with a lastminute goal from Matt Done proving the icing on the cake.
This win for the Blades sets up a mouth-watering home clash against promotion-hopefuls Bradford City on Monday which promises to be a sell-out.
“On the back of our performance against Port Vale, we go into the Bradford City game full of confidence,” said Blades boss Wilder.
“It’s a massive game for both teams because we are going allout to win the title whilst Bradford City are hell-bent on promotion.
“It’s a ‘derby’ game, Bradford are a good side. Stuart McCall has them playing the right way, so the fans will be in for a cracker.
“People talk about pressure, but we’re powering towards the finishing line.
“Against Vale we showed we have the quality and desire to win.
“We told the players to take the game to Vale from the start because we sensed they would be edgy.
“Bradford City will not be edgy, but we shall be looking to get our wing-backs pushing forward, attack, put them under pressure and get three points.”
United were ahead within two minutes.
Clarke’s effort deflected for a corner. Vale failed to clear their lines, Chesterfield loanee O’Shea cut inside from the right and his angled drive went through Vale keeper Deniz Mehmet.
Vale responded with fine efforts from Ryan Taylor and Kiko before they fell further behind to a candidate for goal of the season.
O’Shea turned Kiko on the right and found Chris Basham. The former Blackpool man’s cross was met by Clarke whose thunderous volley turned the far corner of the net into a gumboil.
United continued to dominate in the second period, though the home side were dangerous on the break.
The Blades defence was never unduly troubled and in the final minute Done’s low drive sent the 4,300 travelling Blades fans into ecstasy.
“Very disappointed with the result, it leaves us in a tricky position,” said Vale caretaker manager Michael Brown. “But there were positives which we shall take in to our game at Oxford United. “I was very pleased with how we reacted to going behind to an early goal. We showed great effort and character. We shall have to show those qualities and more at Oxford. “On the plus side, we should have Remi Streete back. I kept him on the bench against Sheffield United because it was too early for him. Remi will hopefully return to bolster our defence at Oxford. The players are not down, on the contrary, Oxford will find we still mean business.”
JOINT’S JUMPING: Sheffield United midfielder Jay O’Shea has scored the opening goal
STAR MAN CHRIS BASHAM Sheffield United