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By Steve Carpenter Monday 04 February 2013 Updated: 06/02 15:22
Sheffield United 1-2 Coventry City
LEON Clarke had big shoes to fill the moment he joined the Sky Blues following the departure of David McGoldrick last month.
But two goals against Sheffield United earned Mark Robins’ side all three points at Bramall Lane last Friday night – a result that showed a real statement of their intent to move into the League One play-off zone for the first time this season.
The brace took Clarke’s tally at his new club to four in all competitions and left supporters dancing out of Bramall Lane begging the question...David who?
Danny Wilson’s Sheffield United were hotly tipped for automatic promotion this season.
But a recent dip in form has seen them drop down to sixth.
The Sky Blues, who were were once again backed by another tremendous away following, knew the Blades were there for the taking and Robins subsequently fielded a fairly attacking line-up, with Stephen Elliott receiving a recall to the starting line-up alongside Clarke in attack.
It was the Irishman who almost set up the opening goal of the game on nine minutes when his powerful low cross found Carl Baker at the far post but the Sky Blues skipper was unable to convert the opportunity at the far post from four yards out.
The hosts seemed happy to play the long ball game while Robins' side continued to create opportunities and on 14 minutes the deadlock was deservedly broken.
Elliott provided another cross, this time from the right, which was stabbed home past George Long by Clarke.
The Blades were stunned and continued to struggle to find any sort of foothold in the match, while their opponents grew in confidence.
McSheffrey struck a 30-yard effort just wide of goal and Clarke almost doubled his side's advantage before the break but his shot was well blocked by Neill Collins.
Normal service was resumed after the break with Richard Edjenguele or 'The Edge' as he is more commonly known amongst supporters, saw his well-timed header from a Baker corner well saved.
That sparked a mini resurgence from the hosts.
Substitute Jonathan Forte registered their first effort on goal which was palmed away by Joe Murphy and on 68 minutes they felt unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty when Kevin McDonald looked to have been brought down by Richard Wood but the referee waved play on.
The pressure did eventually pay off on 73 minutes as Barry Robson's deep corner was headed home past Murphy by Dave Kitson and for the first time in the game it looked as though the ascendency had switched.
But the Sky Blues demonstrated their never say day die spirit once again and left it late to grab a deserved three points.
The ever impressive Franck Moussa forced a smart low save out of Long but Clarke was on-hand to score the rebound and send the travelling support into a positive frenzy behind the goal.
Attendance: 17,511 (1,477 Sky Blue Army)
Player ratings: Murphy 6, Adams 7, Christie 6, Wood 7, Edjenguele, McSheffrey 6 (Fleck 74), Baker 7, Jennings 7, Moussa 7, Clarke 9, Elliott (Thomas 69) Subs not used – Dunn, Clarke, Cameron, Barton, Bell.
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