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Sheff Utd Report
By: Richard Lord
Grimsby Town's run of consecutive victories came to an end this afternoon as Sheffield United won 1-0. Just under 7,000 fans witnessed Peter Ndlovu's first half strike four minutes before half time to hand the Blades 3 points and inflicted the Mariners to their 8th home defeat this season.
Manager Lennie Lawrence chose to stick with 10 of the 11 triumphant men who grabbed the priceless victory at the Hawthorns. Menno Willems was drafted into the side to replace Stacy Coldicott in midfield. The Livingstone/Cornwall partnership continued up front.
Grimsby entered the game in good form, whilst United had previously only won one in their last nine. Coupling that with their mediocre away record, the Mariners must have been looking to take all three points.
Unfortunately Neil Warnock's men dictated the game and gave the home side very few glimpses of goal. Grimsby struggled to find first gear, whilst all the time the Bramall Lane side were looking threatening. Paul Devlin was a constant threat down the right and Carl Asaba led by example up front. Grimsby failed to create any shooting chances, and the crowd's frustration was epitomised by United's dominance. Then in the 41st minute Peter Ndlovu stood unchallenged in the box to guide home a free header, which eventually turned out to be the match-winner.
Soon into the second half Lawrence chose to replace the ineffective Willems with Butterfield. Livingstone was having no joy in the air against Morrison, as the former Man City defender won everything in the air. Cornwall looked sharp up front, and had a shot well saved by Talia on 49 minutes. Livingstone then had a good chance from a tight angle but that too was saved.
Towards the end of the game there were appeals for a penalty when Morrison seemed to have handled the ball in the area when Donovan put in a low cross from the right. From a similar angle to the Xavier sending off in the European Championships, although not as close to the goal, the referee ignored the protests from the players.
Talia was booked for wasting time, and United threw on three late substitutes in another attempt to waste time.
David Smith made an appearance from the bench in the second half to replace Pouton, who had not been his usual dominant-self. The absence of Coldicott was plain to see, and the middle two partnership was broken up and Pouton occasionally looked lost of ideas in midfield.
Grimsby will be disappointed with the defeat as Sheffield United offered very little in the second half. It was the battle in the air where Town lost out, and even Livingstone didn't look the same player against a taller, more physical side.
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