City lose for first time in 11 league games in unfortunate circumstances...
Coventry City were beaten for the first time in 11 league games as Billy Sharp nodded in a late header to condemn City to a 1-0 defeat.
The loss wasn’t without controversy though, as the Sky Blues looked to have a legitimate goal not given as Jacob Murphy had a second-half cross which appeared to cross the line.
The first-half was much the opposite of City's last few trips to Bramall Lane, the atmosphere was flat and the football was dull.
Despite that, the Sky Blues had complete control of the game and had the best chance of the half after 20 minutes, when Ruben Lameiras - starting his first game since Bradford in November – threaded a majestic ball into top scorer Adam Armstrong but his effort inside the box was well saved by George Long.
United were then fortunate to keep eleven men on the pitch three minutes later, as Jay McEveley steamed into a poor high challenge on Lameiras on the right hand side and was only booked for the overzealous tackle which looked a red-card offense.
That was the last real action of the first-half and the second started in a similarly slow fashion, although Lameiras forced Long into a top save with a volley from ten-yards in the 58th minute. Joe Cole came on for Jim O’Brien before the hour and City went close to getting the opener shortly after.
Armstrong was persistent in pressing Neill Collins near the right corner flag and he won the ball back, putting in a great ball which was just too strong for John Fleck at the back post who slid in and was a toe away from scoring.
City were then unfortunate not to get the opener and be rewarded with a goal eight minutes after the hour mark when Murphy beat his man on the left byline and put in a cross, which was spilled by Long, but the ball looked to have crossed the line as the keeper parried it. City protested but referee Iain Williamson and the linesman were completely unmoved.
Up in the gods of the press box it looked a certain goal and the Blades capitalised on their slice of fortune when substitute Sharp got on the end of the ball with his shoulder in at the back-post from a corner with nine minutes to play to give the home side an opener against the run of play.
To compound City’s misery, Sam Ricketts was sent off in added time for a second yellow card and the Sky Blues couldn’t create a chance in the five minutes of added time as City lost for the first time since
September’s defeat to Bury.
Coventry City: Charles-Cook, Ricketts, Martin, Turner, Stokes, Vincelot (Fortune 82), Fleck, Lameiras (Kent 70), O'Brien (Cole 60), Murphy, Armstrong.
Subs: Burge, Haynes, Kelly-Evans, Tudgay.
Sheffield United: Long (GK), Brayford, Basham, Coutts, Done (Flynn 84), Collins, Woolford (Scougall 55), Sammon (Sharp 65), McEveley (C), Edgar, Hammond.
Subs: Howard (GK), Reed, Wallace, McGahey.
Attendance: 18,074 (1,185 Sky Blues fans)
Referee: I Williamson
Yellow cards: McEveley, Hammond, Edgar Turner, Ricketts
Red cards: Ricketts