Many football fans across the country claim that the club they support is hard done by. They claim that they never get the rub of the green, the referee’s give them nothing or injury has robbed them of they’re top scorer. As a Sheffield United fan I think we have a case for something always wrong right when you don’t want it to. This season is no different after United’s top scorer was sentence to five years for rape. This happening in the heated promotion race with Sheffield Wednesday is far from ideal.
The Ched Evans case has obviously had an effect on players and fans alike. As much as I like how Danny Wilson has managed the team this season, him denying that it affected the players in the first half against MK Dons a week last Saturday are wide of the mark. You could see the players looking a little lost in that first half, unsure of themselves and suddenly feeling the pressure. United got much better 2nd half, but could have easily lost by more goals after being hit on the break several times. The news of a 95th minute winner for Wednesday didn’t help the 6000 travelling supports mood on the drive back to Sheffield.
Things didn’t improve much at all during in the first half against Stevenage a week later in front of the Sky cameras and a full house at Bramall Lane. After a bright opening 15 minutes United’s passing became sloppy making fans get edgy again and Stevenage ceased their chance on a counter attack in front of the kop. It was an unfortunate goal, deflecting in after Harry Maguire tried to clear. The second half hadn’t really started when Stevenage doubled there leave with another deflected effort. All this after the Owls had won at Brentford giving them a 2 point lead made for a uncomfortable atmosphere.
United battled back though, largely thanks to the underrated Richard Cresswell. He came off the bench and it lifted everyone. His work rate and set up play are the main reasons I think Ched Evans had such a great season. Within minutes he scored with a brilliant header to give United hope. The crowd were up, back in the game and baring a few counter attacks United were all over Stevenage. The equaliser came 4 minutes from time through a wonderful volley by Matt Lowton. Unfortunately the Blades couldn’t force the winner despite the Alamo type siege on the Stevenage 18 yard box until the final whistle.
So going into the last match of the season United trail Wednesday by a single point. Both clubs are playing against teams that have already been relegated. United away at Exeter City and the Owls are at home against Wycombe Wanderers. Both games in their own rights could be tricky. Already relegated teams don’t have any pressure on them and playing against two of the bigger sides in the division for one last time could inspire them to unlikely victories.
I always thought getting one victory against either MK Dons or Stevenage would seal the deal for Untied. They didn’t manage it, thus handing there fate over to there most hated rivals. Perhaps this will work in the Blades favour, after all United only needed a draw at Chelsea in 1994 and a point against Wigan in 2007 to stay up in the Premier league. Maybe the odds been against them on the last day might mean they achieve the goal of automatic promotion? Highly unlikely in my eyes, but we all know football can be funny old game!