Reading 0-2 Sheffield United: Late goals send Blades third in Championship
Last Updated: 08/12/18 8:08pm
Sheffield United moved up to third in the Sky Bet Championship after late goals earned a 2-0 win over managerless Reading.
Both goals came from substitutes with Billy Sharp tapping home the opener at the back post with seven minutes left on the clock, before Reading's Sam Baldock diverted a corner into his own net soon after.
The first half was a tale of two disallowed goals for Sheffield United. First, Conor Washington's celebrations were curtailed by the assistant referee's flag after he headed home from two yards out after John Egan had flicked a corner in his direction.
David McGoldrick was the second Blade to be left frustrated, even more so due to his sublime finish, when he backheeled home a George Baldock cross only to look up to see the same fluorescent flag aloft on the touchline.
Caretaker manager Scott Marshall made one change for Reading, as he brought in Southampton loanee Josh Sims.Chris Wilder made two changes, as he brought John Lundstram and Conor Washington into the side.
There was more disappointment after the break when Chris Basham's header looked set to go in but Chris Gunter managed to clear it off the line.
Sharp came off the bench to help the Blades who had all the impetus after the break and he had a great chance to open the scoring when he headed a John Fleck delivery wide of goal.
The striker made up for his miss when he read a Basham cross to the backpost, allowing him to tap the ball in from a yard.
Reading: Jaakkola 6, Yiadom 7, Ilori 7, Blackett 7, Gunter 7, McCleary 6, Bacuna 7, Rinomhota 7, Sims 6, McNulty 6, Loader 7
Subs: Baldock 5, Aluko 5, Barrow 5
Sheffield United: Henderson 6, Baldock 7, Stevens 7, Fleck 6, O'Connell 7, Basham 7, Lundstram 6, Egan 6, Norwood 8, McGoldrick 6, Washington 6
Subs: Sharp 7, Duffy 8
Man of the match: Oliver Norwood
The goal had been coming for the entire second half and it was no surprise when the second went in off Reading striker Sam Baldock's head from a corner, made worse for him by the fact his brother George plays for Sheffield United.
Reading, who sacked Paul Clement in the week, now lie 22nd in the league.
Man of the Match - Oliver Norwood
The midfielder made Sheffield United tick throughout the match and provided great delivery from set-pieces in addition to a number of superb through balls, which few others could have produced.
Scott Marshall: "I think we worked tremendously hard throughout. It wasn't easy, they were piling on a lot of pressure. They made a little change at half-time and it knocked us out of our stride a little bit and we struggled to cope with that. It's a bit of a sickener to get into the last stages of the game and concede but there were a few (good) bits in there and we can look at them on Monday and kick on.
"I don't know about these things, it's early doors, it's just happened. We didn't get a result tonight, so who knows what will happen? I am certainly looking forward to Monday and doing some work, but you never know?"
Chris Wilder: "We're blessed with Bill (Sharp) because of his goalscoring record and the way he takes things when he's not playing - they all want to play, I understand that, he's not in the starting 11 but he's not spit his dummy out. He gets on with it and comes up with a big goal.
"There is a lot of football to be played but our position is amazing, from my point of view.
"For us to be in third position at this stage of the season is great."
Sheffield United host West Brom at Bramall Lane on Friday, December 14, live on Sky Sports.
Reading will have the chance to bounce back from this defeat the following day away at Rotherham.