tags: Brentford, Burton Albion, Johnstone's Paint Trophy, League One, Oldham, Richard Aisthorpe, Sheffield United
My Father-in-law and long time Sheffield United fan Richard Aisthorpe brings us the latest update to the Blades League One campaign…funny thing is, it’s going pretty well.
Here I am again, the Sheffield United ‘cup half empty’ merchant. OK, before the season started I wondered how things would go and pointed out some of the pitfalls that might await us in the ‘league one minefield’. Well… six games gone, five wins and a draw later… time to reflect I think.
On day one we were 0 – 0 at half time away to Oldham. “Shit!” I thought, same old story, no attacking punch. By full time we had won 2 -0 but from all reports Oldham were awful! Next up was a league cup (Am I supposed to call it something else these days?) tie at Hartlepool. Now ‘those who know us know’, we always lose at Hartlepool! Well, well, well. We won on penalties after extra time. OK, Hartlepool played the whole of extra time with ten men but, given our history, (the great SUFC ‘bottlers’ would usually have lost on pens in those circumstances) the omens began to look good.
Our first home game was Brentford. A 2 – 0 win looks comfortable but I can assure you it wasn’t. Having said that we did win and there were signs that we intended to play the ball out of defence rather than just hump it up the park. Also, the blend of young players and ‘old sweats’ might turn out to be a good formula. A crowd of 17,769 was also encouraging. This season I have changed my seat to H block in the main stand. Some woman approached me and asked if I was a season ticket holder. She said “It’s only that I had those seats last year and we were too late in renewing them” What did she want me to say? “Sorry love, I’ll go to the ticket office and ask to be moved so you can have them back!” I don’t think so!
So, the following Tuesday was another home game, this time Walsall. Sadly the gate was down by over a thousand to 16,443, so much for people watching a winning team! By half time it was clear that Walsall were a much better side than Brentford and they were unlucky not to have scored in the first 45. It was therefore no surprise when they did score early in the second half. It was slightly more surprising when they went two up soon after. For those who watched us last season it was unsurprising that both goals were soft and our keeper looked at fault. Unrest began to grow in H block. “Get rid of that useless twat!” (Aimed at the keeper) and slightly more worrying, “See what you get with a fuckin Wednesday pig bastard as manager!” shouted some ‘Neanderthal’. How disappointed they must have been when we rallied after 60 minutes and scored three quick goals. A close run thing – yes, but winning is a good habit to get into. We played some good stuff, exciting too!
Our next game was away at Tranmere. It seems our 1 – 1 draw was a bit of a battle against a team that ‘dig a bit’, ask Stephen Quinn’s shins! Amazingly Nick Montgomery scored a ‘screamer’ for us. Now that is a turn up! Ask any united fan.
If you are going to lose a game, lose one you are not expected to win. Everton away in the league cup was never going to be a likely success, so our midweek 3 – 1 defeat was not such a blow even though we took the lead! To improve matters, the ‘unmentionables’ from Hillsborough also lost 3 – 1 away at Blackburn.
So on to Yeovil today. A long trip to a team that have a habit of ‘turning over’ so called ‘big clubs’. Chris Porter scored the only goal to briefly put us on top of the league. If you had asked me at the start of the season if I thought we would be top after 5 games I would have laughed at you. So off we go to Burton Albion next week in the illustrious Johnson’s Paint Trophy (Editor: Sheffield United won 2-1). Not important? Well, if we lose, our next home gate might be down to 15,000. It will all be the fault of that ‘pig bastard’ no doubt!