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Match Reports

Fleetwood Town 2-2 Sheffield United

5 March 2016

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Fleetwood Town 2-2 Sheffield United

Ten man Fleetwood Town were cruelly pegged back in the 90th minute as a Che Adams penalty rescued a point for Sheffield United in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Highbury Stadium.

Goals either side of half time from Ashley Hunter and a first in English football from Marcus Nilsson cancelled out Matty Done’s opener for the visitors.

However, with Nick Haughton dismissed in the 87th minute for two yellow cards in quick succession, Sheffield United pounced and won a penalty, which Adams converted as both sides had to settle for a point.

Manager Steven Pressley made one change for the game against the Blades, Ashley Hunter stepping in for Antoni Sarcevic.

This resulted in David Ball dropping into midfield, as Hunter joined Shola Ameobi and Wes Burns in a three man attack.

Former Blackpool defender Alex Baptiste made his first start for Sheffield United after joining on loan from Middlesbrough earlier this week.

On a difficult surface at Highbury Stadium, it was a scrappy start to the game as Fleetwood Town went in search of their third consecutive win in Sky Bet League One.

The first chance fell to the Blades in the sixth minute, Josh Brayford getting the right side of Amari’i Bell to direct the ball across the face of goal but Che Adams’ diving header flew over the bar.

Five minutes later, United went forward again as Adams had his second bite of the cherry, his curling effort from 20-yards comfortably collected by Chris Maxwell.

On the counter attack, Fleetwood came agonisingly close to an opener through some excellent individual play from Hunter. Clearing a Sheffield United corner, Jimmy Ryan sprayed possession from right to left for Ashley Hunter.

Alone, with no support, Hunter drifted inside past two United defenders to curl an ambitious 30-yard strike that whisked past the far post.

United were edging the contest ever so slightly and in the 29th minute they went ahead. After some patient build up play inside the Fleetwood Town half, former Rochdale man Done swung fired a dangerous low cross in from the left that ricocheted off Marcus Nilsson and beyond the reach of Maxwell.

But Fleetwood Town’s response was perfect and within a minute, Hunter grabbed his seventh goal of the season with a bullet of a header.

Town moved the ball forward from kick off and French defender Nirennold found space on the right hand side to pick out an unmarked Hunter to power a header into the roof of the net from five yards out.

Five minutes before half time, Joe Davis sustained a nasty head injury after colliding with a Blades man inside the Fleetwood Town penalty area.

The second half began and Davis was unable to continue, Jack Sowerby coming on in his place. Meanwhile, United made one change at the interval, former PNE man Paul Coutts stepping in for Florent Cuvelier.

With the second half only two minutes old, skipper Jimmy Ryan was a fraction away from turning the game around in Fleetwood’s favour, a venomous 25-yard effort gliding just past George Long’s post.

Seconds later, striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin held off the attention of make shift centre back Eggert Jonsson, and using the bounce of the ball in his favour, he rifled a half volley just over the bar.

The cross bar and the post came to Sheffield United’s rescue in the 50th minute. From the left, Ball’s cross caught Long off guard and skimmed the cross bar. The rebound fell kindly to Wes Burns, but he headed against the post and smashed the follow up over the crossbar.

Ryan Flynn was nearly gifted a goal by Fleetwood Town five minutes later. Possession was cheaply given away deep inside Cod Army territory, as Coutts fed the ball for Flynn to drag a close range effort wide.

However, Fleetwood completed the turn-around in the 59th minute as Nilsson scored his first goal in English football.

Hunter won a free-kick on the left hand side after he was clipped by sub Coutts, the midfielder booked for his troubles.

This allowed Ryan to float a free-kick from 30-yards into the penalty area for the Swedish international to get the slightest of touches on a header to divert the ball beyond a helpless Long. 

In the 69th minute, Sowerby’s match came to an abrupt end as the midfielder looked to pick up a knee injury, fellow youngster Nick Haughton came on in his place.

United could and should have brought the game back level with 15 minutes to play, as veteran midfielder Hammond guided the ball wide from point blank range after picking up a long range free-kick sent into the penalty area.

Town were sent down to ten men as sub Haughton was sent off in the 87th minute for dissent after picking up two quick yellow cards following a Sheffield United free-kick.

And after heavy pressure from the Blades front line, Flynn won United a penalty kick as he was tripped inside the penalty box by Amari’I Bell after a well worked short corner kick routine.

Adams stepped up confidently for the Blades and despite Maxwell getting a foot to the ball as the scored finish 2-2 at Highbury Stadium.

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