James McAtee winner takes Sheffield United closer to promotion



Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2023 by PA

James McAtee winner takes Sheffield United closer to promotion

Sheffield United took another step closer to automatic promotion to the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Bristol City.

Substitute James McAtee’s second-half goal gave the Blades a win that moved them eight points clear of third-placed Luton with four Championship matches remaining.

It was the Blades who had the first chance of the game. A quick free-kick from Illiman Ndiaye allowed George Baldock to find space in the Bristol City box, but the defender fired the ball over the bar.

Despite a quiet start from the Robins, they almost took the lead after just over 10 minutes. Sam Bell unleashed a shot from inside the United box, but Anel Ahmedhodzic was there to block.

Bristol City kept the pressure on the Blades in a good spell. Bell went close again when he sent a deflected header just past the United post.

United finally had an opportunity with 15 minutes to go until the interval. Ndiaye controlled the ball well before finding Oli McBurnie who fired wide from the edge of the area.

Two minutes later, McBurnie had another chance to open the scoring. A great cross from Jack Robinson reached the striker, but he mistimed his jump and could not convert.

Paul Heckingbottom looked to the bench to turn the game in the Blades’ favour. McAtee was introduced for John Fleck as the second half started.

United came agonisingly close almost straight away. A scramble in the box saw John Egan and McBurnie both have chances, but neither could steer the ball over the line.

Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge almost found the magic moment from the edge of the box. Max Lowe laid the ball off to the Norwegian, who fizzed a shot just over.

Nigel Pearson opted to make changes to his City side with Nahki Wells brought off for Tommy Conway with 25 minutes to play.

Heckingbottom responded by bringing Billy Sharp and Oliver Norwood on for McBurnie and Tommy Doyle.

After 77 minutes, United finally found the goal they were looking for. Ndiaye slid McAtee in and he fired home from the left-hand side of the box to delight the home fans.

It looked to be double delight for the Blades as Ndiaye slotted the ball into an empty net three minutes later, but the goal was ruled out for a foul on Max O’Leary by Sharp.

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