Leon Clarke scores again as Sheffield United draw with Birmingham

Posted Sunday, November 26, 2017 by PA

Leon Clarke's stunning run of form saw him earn a point for Sheffield United in a 1-1 draw with Birmingham.

The 32-year-old striker, who had scored back-to-back hat-tricks at Bramall Lane, found the scoresheet in the second half to cancel out Jerome Boga's brilliant first-half opener for Birmingham.

Clarke struck in the 71st minute with his ninth goal in four games as the Blades drew for the first time since March.

After an otherwise quiet start to the game, Birmingham's Lukas Jutkiewicz threatened to break free inside the area until Jake Wright's timely interception halted the danger.

John Lundstram had a shot blocked as the hosts started to apply some pressure.

Lundstram then fired in a 20-yard effort which forced David Stockdale to get down low to his right to make the save.

There was a good chance for Clarke who screwed his shot wide from a good position after meeting John Fleck's low cross.

Clarke was involved in a build up which resulted in Mark Duffy having a shot blocked inside the area.

Birmingham scored against the run of play in the 38th minute when Jota's corner was only cleared as far as Boga, who beat Jamal Blackman with a rasping drive from 25 yards out.

Wright made another important challenge to dispossess Jutkiewicz inside the area as the visitors attacked with pace on the break.

Lundstram showed his willingness to shoot on sight when he connected with a cross from Fleck, but he put his effort wide.

Duffy then sent over a cross from the left which was just too high for Clarke at the far post.

United manager Chris Wilder made a double substitution with just over 20 minutes remaining in a bid to spark a revival. David Brooks and Samir Carruthers came on in place of Billy Sharp and Cameron Carter-Vickers.

With Blackman off his line, Jutkiewicz threatened to capitalise on some indecision in the home defence, but his shot was blocked.

Clarke equalised with a low shot after receiving the ball from Brooks inside the area with 19 minutes to go.

Buoyed by the goal, United pressed for a winner without seriously testing Stockdale.

Clarke had a shot deflected wide following a strong run while Carruthers had a shot blocked and Chris Basham shot well over.

Birmingham's Che Adams, on as a substitute against his former club, almost found a way through but perhaps took a touch too many inside the area and was forced wide.

Birmingham boss Steve Cotterill will be the happier of the two managers with the result as Blades chief Wilder is left to reflect on picking up just a single point from back-to-back home games.


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