2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Enda Stevens (29')
  • David Brooks (64')

Blades close on play-offs and add to Burton's woes

Sheffield United boosted their Sky Bet Championship play-off hopes with a 2-0 win over struggling Burton.
Enda Stevens celebrated his first Republic of Ireland call-up by converting George Baldock's 29th-minute cross and David Brooks grabbed a second after 64 minutes.
The result leaves the Blades seventh - two points behind Middlesbrough - while Burton are now three points from safety.
The visitors had the first chance of the game when Lloyd Dyer's angled shot forced keeper Jamal Blackman to palm the ball wide.
United's John Fleck played a low ball across the face of goal, but there was no-one there to apply the finish.
Fleck then fired in a shot which struck team-mate James Wilson before United took the lead just before the half-hour mark.
The goal came when Baldock found Stevens inside the area and the wing-back finished with ease.
Burton threatened on a couple of occasions in the latter stages of the half, first when Marvin Sordell and Tom Flanagan combined to set up Hope Akpan whose back-heeled effort was blocked.
Then Dyer was put through on goal again and his fierce shot forced a great save from Blackman.
United made a strong start to the second half with Baldock having an effort blocked and then Billy Sharp slid in to meet Wilson's cross at the far post but he was unable to direct the ball on target.
Burton appealed for a penalty when Sordell went down under a challenge inside the area, but referee Scott Duncan was unmoved.
Visiting keeper Stephen Bywater was then called into action to keep out a shot from Mark Duffy.
Darren Bent had a chance to equalise when he met a corner from Jacob Davenport, but he headed wide.
Brooks (64) made it 2-0 just a couple of minutes after coming on as a substitute, producing an impressive finish following a fine interchange between Sharp and Duffy.
Evans threatened to add a third with a thunderous drive which clipped the top of the bar and the lively Brooks put a shot off-target.
The visitors made a double substitution in the 82nd minute with Luke Varney and Jake Buxton coming on in place of Bent and Flanagan.
The changes failed to spark a revival, however, with Fleck going close in the final minute of the match when Bywater made a fine save to keep out his free-kick, touching the ball wide.
Burton face a battle to retain their Championship status having won just once in 11 league outings and failing to score in their last four games.

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