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Blues U21s 1 Sheffield United U21s 1

Posted: Mon 19 Aug 2013
Author: Andy Walker

Amari'i Bell battles for possession with Sheffield United's Jake Eyre.

Image by: Sheffield United FC

Blues' U21 Professional Development League 2 North campaign started with a draw at St. Andrew's.

Joe Ironside had put Sheffield United U21s in front in the first-half before Reece Hales brought scores level on the hour mark.

Richard Beale was able to name a strong starting XI with  first-teamers Colin Doyle, Mitch Hancox, Olly Lee, Chris Burke, Callum Reilly, Darren Ambrose and Koby Arthur all included.

The Blades opened the scoring in the 36th minute when Ironside scrambled the ball home from close range following Ryan Flynn's low delivery from the right.

Blues' only real highlight of the first-half was a Burke shot from 20-yards out that proved easy for goalkeeper Mark Howard to gather.

However the hosts did step things up a gear after the break with Ambrose and Lee both going close in the 53rd and 58th minute respectively.

The equaliser arrived in the 59th minute when Burke's corner from the left was headed back across goal by Lee for Hales to divert home.

As Reece Brown, Nathaniel Kelly and Demarai Gray were introduced  for Blues, Lee twice went close to getting his name on the scoresheet.

Having watched his near post header from Burke's corner from the left bounce wide of the right in the 82nd minute, Lee again found space from a similar set piece minutes later only to be denied by a fine save from Howard. 

Blues continued to pile on the pressure but couldn't find another way through.

Blues U21s: Doyle; Adams, Bell, Fry (C), Hancox (Brown 60); Burke, Lee, Reilly, Arthur (Gray 79); Ambrose (Kelly 66), Hales.
Subs: Preston, Truslove.

Sheffield United U21s: Howard; Hodder, Banton, Higginbotham, Hill; Flynn, Smith, Whitehouse, Johns; Ironside, Eyre (Khan 75).
Subs: Willis, Ptak, Dimaio, Cockerline.

For the full list of Blues U21s' 2013/14 competitive fixtures, click here.