SHEFFIELD UNITED:George Long, Darryl Westlake, Harry Maguire, Matt Hill, Ryan Flynn, Michael Doyle, Chris Porter, Nick Blackman, Shaun Miller, Neill Collins, David McAllister. SUBS: Richard Cresswell, John Cofie, Danny Philliskirk, Joe Ironside, Callum McFadzeen, Marcus Williams, Danny Coyne
PORT VALE:Chris Neal, Adam Yates, John McCombe, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Ashley Vincent, Tom Pope, Clayton McDonald, Ben Williamson, Kingsley James, Ryan Burge, Richard Duffy. SUBS: Rob Taylor, Doug Loft, Louis Dodds, Sam JohnsonChris Shuker, Calvin Andrew, Joe Davis
Attendance:10,215 including 3,295 visiting supporters
Clayton McDonald was declared for Vale’s FA Cup tie at Bramall Lane, meaning Vale were unchanged from the eleven who started away to Aldershot in their previous game.
Skipper Doug Loft was back in the squad, but had to settle for place on the bench, where he was joined by new signing Calvin Andrew.
Vale settled into things early on and were certainly not in any way daunted by the task ahead of them, perhaps having slightly the better of things in terms of possession.
The Blades had obviously done a bit of homework. Every time Jennison Myrie-Williams received the ball be quickly had two men close him down.
The home side were not too far off taking the lead in the 14th minute when Nick Blackmon shot from just inside the 18 yard box but the ball deflected off Clayton McDonald for a corner.
Vale were showing plenty of attacking ambition, however, and were causing a few problems of their own at the other end.
Tom Pope hit the side-netting in the 28th minute after McDonald had nodded on Adam Yates throw from the right, but up to that point neither ‘keeper had an awful lot to do.
That was until the 32nd minute, when Tom Pope slipped the ball through for Ben Williamson inside the box and George Long raced off his line to block the Vale striker’s shot.
GOAL:A minute later the two combined again inside the box and eventually TOM POPE spotted a space and drilled the ball low inside Long’s left hand post to put the Vale in front.
Pope immediately ran, armed in the air, over to the dug outs and straight to Micky Adams and the two of them embraced, celebrating the striker’s 21st goal of the season.
The home side almost hit back immediately after the break when Shaun Miller got on the end of a laft wing cross. His powerful close range header had ‘goal’ written all over it, but Chris Neal reacted superbly, moving sharply to his left to push the ball away.
If ever Vale needed a reminder that there was still plenty of work to do then that was it, as the home side began the second half on the front foot.
Vale soaked it up for ten minutes and then began to give the home side something to think about at the other end.
The game was still fairly evenly matched, but Vale were defending their lead well as a team, with every single player willing to work for the cause.
Chris Neal had to spread himself well inside his six yard area to keep out Nick Blackman when arguably United’s most dangerous player on the day burst inside the six yard box as the home side upped the tempo.
Vale made a double substitution in the 75th minute. Louis Dodds and Calvin Andrew coming on to replace Myrie-Williams and Williamson.
Vale rode their luck a little in the 80th minute when Blackman’s right wing cross found the head of Miller at the far post. He headed the ball down and the bounce took it over the bar, when the home side looked odds on to equalise.
Blackman the burst through and fired his shot against the side-netting with Vale on the back foot once again.
Vale made their third and final change in the 85th minute when Rob Taylor came off the bench to take the place of Ashley Vincent.
GOAL:Vale were dealt a blow in the 90th minute when Ryan Flynn pumped the ball into the box and SHAUN MILLER got on the end of it to head home the equaliser.
GOAL:With four minutes of stoppage time being indicated the home side went all out for a winner, and with three minutes and fifty seconds of stoppage time played MILLER grabbed his second and the winning goal for the Blades.