The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Les Scott

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.”

PIC­TURES: ProS­ports/ Aaron Lup­ton

JOINT’S JUMP­ING: Sh­effield United mid­fielder Jay O’Shea has scored the open­ing goal


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