Sheffield United v Port Vale
Saturday 15th October 2016
At Bramall Lane
Attendance: 19,699 including 721 visiting supporters
If Vale thought they had cracked it when they recorded their first away win of the season six days earlier against MK Dons, they were brought right back down to earth by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
The Blades recorded a comfortable win to leap from Vale in the League One table and had the ball in the net on several occasions only to see the linesman’s flag raised for offside.
They did manage four legitimate goals, however, with Etahn Ebanks-Landell grabbing a brace and Mark Duffy and Stefan Scougall each scoring to inflict Vale’s biggest defeat of the season.
As expected, Bruno Ribeiro named an unchanged starting eleven for the game at Bramall Lane, following the success at Stadium MK in Vale’s previous fixture.
After missing the game against MK Dons through suspension, Paulo Tavares missed out again, this time through injury, and he was not named on the bench.
The game saw a return to Bramall Lane for Bruno Ribeiro, Michael Brown, Andy Smith and Ben Purkiss, who have all been an the Blades’ books at some time or another.
The home side had slightly the better of things in the opening exchanges and went close with at wice-taken free kick from out wide in the 7th minute after Ben Purkiss slid in for what the referee deemed to be a foul.
Mark Duffy hit an in-swinging ball from out on the left towards the back post, where Blades’ defender Jack O’Connell met the flight of the ball with his head but could only steer it wide of the target.
Kjell Knops needed to be alert to prevent Kieron Freeman from getting on the end of a through ball from the left which evaded the rest of the Vale defence, before Vale went on the attack themselves.
Following a neat move from the Valiants, Anthony Grant forced his way into the United box but before he could get in his shot a defender came sliding in and Vale had to settle for a corner kick.
The home side then had the ball in the Vale net at the other end of the pitch but the linesman’s flag was already raised and the goal was rightly ruled out for offside.
United were edging the play but were not really hurting a well-organised and hard working Vale side who were looking for opening themselves at all times.
GOAL:But it was the home side who struck first, when John Fleck’s corner kick from the right was met at the back post by Ethan Ebanks-Landell who nodded the Blades in front.
The home side thought they had doubled their lead in the 32nd minute when John Fleck drove the ball home from twenty yards out, but the referee’s assistant had spotted the ball get a deflection off Billy Sharp, who was in an offside position and again, the goal was ruled out.
GOAL:The home side did get a second before the interval however, when Vale had several failed attempts to clear their lines and Ethan Ebanks-Landell took full advantage, stabbing the ball home from 6 yards on 44 minutes.
It left Vale with a mountain to climb in the second forty-five minutes, with two goals to pull back if they were to rescue something from the game.
The home side had the ball in the Vale net once again in the second minutes of the second half when Matt Done stuck the ball over the line from three yards out, clearly in an offside position.
Martin Paterson went close to pulling a goal back for the Vale after Knops had sent the ball in low from the left but his 20 yard shot took a slight deflection to take it wide.
Vale made their first substitution on 59 minutes when Quentin Pereira was sent into the action as a direct replacement for his compatriot Sebastien Amoros in the middle of the park.
Vale could do nothing about United’s third goal in the 62nd minute when the home side broke out of their own half with four players attacking Vale’s two.
GOAL:The ball was eventually touched on to Billy Sharp with a goal looking certain. Ben Purkiss managed to get in the block on the line, but was on hand to Mark Duffy smash the ball home from 6 yards on 62 minutes.
Two minutes later United had the ball in the Vale net once again when Billy Sharp swept home from close range, but yet again the linesman’s flag was raised and the goal didn’t count.
Vale made a second change on 67 minutes when Dan Turner was thrown on as a replacement for Martin Paterson to see if he could make any difference up front for the Vale.
Alex Jones might have pulled one back for the Vale in the 78th minute but his effort from 12 yards was smothered by Blades’ ‘keeper Simon Moore, who had raced off his line to narrow his angles.
Just seconds later Vale midfielder Sam Foley went down and stayed down, and was eventually taken off on a stretcher, with Kiko coming off the bench as his replacement.
GOAL:United sent on Stefan Scougall from the bench and within minutes he nicked the home side’s fourth goal from close range in the 84th minute to compound Vale’s misery.
SHEFFIELD UNITED:Simon Moore, John Fleck, Jack O’Connell, Billy Sharp, Matt Done, Jake Wright, Paul Coutts, Kieron Freeman, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Mark Duffy, Daniel Lafferty. SUBS: Chris Hussey, Stefan Scougall, Caolan Lavery, Aaron Ransdale, Reece Brown, Ben Whiteman, Harry Chapman.
PORT VALE:Jak ALnwick, Ben Purkiss, Remie Streete, Kjell Knops, Sam Foley, Martin Paterson, Nathan Smith, Alex Jones, Sebastien AMoros, Anthony Grant, Dam Hart. SUBS: Calvin Mac-Intosch, Rigino Cicilia, Chris Mbamba, Dan Turner, Kiko, Quentin Pereira, Miguel Santos