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Match Report


Posted Sat 20 Aug 11 at 16:56 PM

Report: Tranmere 1 Sheff Utd 1

Joss Labadie's second goal in five days earned Rovers a point as they came from behind to draw 1-1 against Sheffield United at Prenton Park.

The midfielder came on as a substitute in the second half and found the net within a couple of minutes, heading in from a corner.

Rovers had fallen behind late in the first half when Blades captain Nick Montgomery found the top corner from outside the area.

There were two changes to the team that started at Notts County as the suspended Adam McGurk and Dave Raven were replaced by Lucas Akins and Michael Kay. Former Rovers goalkeeper Steve Simonsen started for the Blades but Andy Taylor missed out through injury.

The starting formation against Sheffield United

Rovers had the first shot of the game on two minutes, with Martin Devaney cutting inside from the left, beating two men and drilling the ball goalwards from a narrow angle forcing Simonsen to save under pressure from Andy Robinson.

The opening stages were all Tranmere with Enoch Showunmi heading wide from Lucas Akins' cross on four minutes and Mark McChrystal sending a fierce volley goalwards a minute later and Simonsen again having to save.

David Buchanan looped a volley into the arms of Simonsen on nine minutes and moments later United's Stephen Quinn tested Owain Fon Williams at the other end.

Andy Robinson teased and tormented the Blades right back on 14 minutes before chipping a cross to the far post from where Akins saw his downward header well saved by Simonsen.

Fon Williams clawed the ball away from his goal as Matthew Lowton headed a corner towards the net at the near post a United corner on 18 minutes before Rovers somehow survived a goalmouth scramble which seemed to involve more than half the players on the pitch.

The Rovers keeper was called on again on 21 minutes, twice punching clear before saving from Jordan Slew.

It was proving an entertaining half of football, with Rovers quickly back on the attack and sending cross after cross into the visitors' area and appeals for handball and a penalty turned down after Robinson's shot struck a defender.

On 29 minutes a free kick from Robinson was headed into the ground and goalwards by Akins with Simonsen again on hand to keep the score level.

The visitors took the lead on 43 minutes. The ball was played across the Tranmere half to Blades captain Nick Montgomery who shot first time from 30 yards with his right foot, the ball flying into the top left corner with Fon Williams having no chance of a save.

The two teams were unchanged for the start of the second half and it was United who dominated the early stages though they were unable to test Fon Williams in the Tranmere goal.

A foul on Robinson gave Rovers a free kick in a decent shooting position on 55 minutes and it was the former Swansea player who took the set piece, with his curling shot going a couple of yards over the bar.

Mustafa Tiryaki replaced Akins on 62 minutes and Rovers switched to 4-4-2, with Devaney and Weir taking up the wide roles.

The former Havant and Waterlooville striker almost levelled the score a minute later, sending his header from Devaney's cross towards the top left corner only for Simonsen to again save.

Joss Labadie came on for Robinson on 77 minutes and the midfielder soon grabbed his second goal in a week. Devaney and Buchanan combined on the left from a corner with the ball eventually played into the area from where Labadie stooped to head in from 12 yards.

Before play could restart Devaney was replaced by Zoumana Bakayogo on the left wing.

Cresswell had a chance to put United back ahead with a couple of minutes remaining when he broke through one on one with Fon Williams but the striker miss hit his shot and the ball comfortably ran to the Rovers keeper.

Buchanan had to clear as United had a three on three attack in the fourth minute of injury time, and Rovers saw out the final couple of minutes for a share of the points.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Kay, Goodison, McChrystal, Buchanan, Welsh, Weir, Robinson (Labadie 77), Akins (Tiryaki 62), Showunmi, Devaney. Substitutes not used: Courtney, Bakayogo, Taylor.

Sheffield United: Simonsen, Lowton, Jean-Francois, Montgomery, Doyle, Slew (Porter 58), Williamson, Collins, Cresswell, Maguire, Quinn (Mendez-Laing 90). Substitutes not used: Harriot, Philliskirk, Long.

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Yellow cards: Devaney (7), Quinn (29), Robinson (71), Williamson (76), Montgomery (86)

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