Harper seals Blades win

Published Add your comment

Football News

James Harper's late strike completed a smash-and-grab raid for Sheffield United as they plunged Plymouth further into trouble at the wrong end of the Championship with a 1-0 win.

The Blades lacked a cutting edge for most of the game at Home Park but were thankful for a piece of magic from Harper with time running out.

With two minutes left the on-loan Reading man drilled into the corner to break the Pilgrims' hearts as Kevin Blackwell's side continued their recent upward momentum.

United came into the game as the form team following back-to-back wins over Bristol City and Peterborough, but it was Plymouth who made all the early running.

And had it not been for some early heroics from on-loan Carl Ikeme they would have gained reward for their industry as first Rory Fallon and then Ashley Barnes forced the goalkeeper into smart saves from 12 yards.

In between, Joe Mason drilled wide of the target as the Blades struggled to find their stride.

The absence of top scorer Darius Henderson, missing with a thigh complaint, clearly hampered the visitors, who looked woefully short of ideas going forward.

It was 41 minutes before they registered a shot on goal of any description, and even then Nick Montgomery's distance effort was blocked by Gary Sawyer.

Montgomery's frustration was compounded even further by a rash booking prior to the break as he was cautioned for a clumsy challenge on Alan Judge.

Whatever was said by Blades boss Blackwell at the interval, however, clearly did the trick and 10 minutes after the restart they came within the width of a post of taking the lead as Montgomery again took aim from distance, only to see his 25-yarder cannon back off the woodwork.

Fit again Kari Arnason should have done better for Plymouth as they also sought a breakthrough, but he scooped the ball over the crossbar when Judge's corner dropped to him in the box.

Finally, United were starting to assert some pressure and in an effort to capitalise they sent on Ched Evans for Lee Williamson with 24 minutes left.

At the other end, Judge curled an effort over the crossbar while Fallon - fresh from his recent heroics in firing New Zealand to the World Cup - continued to cause problems with his willingness to put himself about.

It was Carl Fletcher, though, who was left cursing his luck as his 25-yarder smacked back off the post with seven minutes left.

And five minutes later struggling Plymouth's plight was brought into sharp focus as Harper picked the ball up 25 yards out and drilled an angled shot past Romain Larrieu to snatch the points.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Peterborough United
Rory Fallon
Joe Mason
Kari Arnason
Darius Henderson
Carl Fletcher
Bristol City
Carl Ikeme
Alan Judge
Ashley Barnes
Gary Sawyer
Lee Williamson
James Harper
Sheffield United
Nick Montgomery
James Harper
Romain Larrieu
Plymouth Argyle
Ched Evans

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again