Unbeaten Run Comes To An End At Bramall LaneOldham Athletic’s unbeaten run came to an end at Bramall Lane as Sheffield United ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
John Brayford and Ryan Flynn gave the Blades the first half lead with early goals, whilst a second half strike from Billy Sharp sealed the win which ended Latics’ seven game unbeaten run.
Athletic lined up in a 4-4-2 diamond formation with Jonathan Forte and Aaron Holloway leading the line.
However, it was the Blades that dominated the opening 45 minutes of the game and they took the lead on 10 minutes.
After Latics failed to clear the ball on the edge of their box, the ball fall to Brayford on the right and he volleyed into the far corner past Joel Coleman to put the Blades ahead.
Sheridan’s men were struggling to get hold of the ball and were almost punished again on 17 minutes as Billy Sharp had space on the right but Tim Dieng managed to clear his cross ahead of the onrushing Che Adams.
Two minutes later, it would be Adams who would force Coleman into a save after he turned and shot inside the box.
The Blades’ pressure paid off on 21 minutes as they grabbed their second of the game through Flynn.
An aimless pass from a Sheffield United man seemed to catch Latics cold and Flynn raced through on goal, rounded Coleman and stuck it into the back of the net.
Sheridan was forced into action and changed his formation to 3-5-2 with Joseph Mills and Cameron Dummigan acting as wing backs.
That seemed to relive the pressure slightly and Latics started to build up a few attacks which would cause Sheffield United problems.
Just before the half hour mark, Mills found Dummigan at the back post. He nodded the ball back into a central area but Forte was adjudged to have fouled his defender, despite forcing a good save from the goalkeeper.
Although Latics enjoyed a bit more possession, they were struggling to penetrate the Blades back line and did not test George Long in goal.
With half time approaching, Sheffield United almost made it three but Matt Done’s dragged shot could not fall into the path of Sharp at the back post.
Latics needed a response and Sheridan brought on Curtis Main for Dummigan at the start of the second half and changed to a 4-3-3 formation.
It would be Main that almost pulled a goal back for Latics on 56 minutes as Palmer found the Doncaster loanee inside the area but Long managed to tip his shot wide of the post.
Brian Wilson and debutant Timmy Thiele were introduced just before the hour mark as Latics tried to get something from the game.
The closest Latics came to getting on the scoresheet in the second half was through Main, who impressed after his half time introduction.
He turned 30 yards from goal and unleashed a thunderous strike which rebounded off the underside of the crossbar and out.
That was the best it got for Latics as Sheffield United extended their lead on 77 minutes through Sharp.
Brayford’s hopeful ball into the box found the striker who had got around the last defender and he hammered home to seal the win for Sheffield United.
Latics did have chances in the final 10 minutes of the game as Mills’ shot was saved from 12 yards and Thiele did well to get behind the defence but fluffed his lines as he shot goalwards.
Anthony Gerrard had a chance in the final minute of additional time as he curled a shot goalwards but Long was across to save.
Sheffield United: Long, Brayford, Flynn, Sharp, Done, McEverley, Baptiste, Adams (Calvert-Lewin 65’), Edgar, Hammond (Reed 71’), Whiteman (Coutts 75’).
Subs not used: Howard, Sammon, McGahey, Kelly.
Oldham Athletic: Coleman, Mills, Dieng, J Wilson, Jones (B Wilson 59’), Winchester, Palmer, Dummigan (Main 46’), Forte, Holloway (Thiele 59’).
Subs not used: Cornell, Brown, Kelly, Croft.
Goals: Sheffield United (Brayford 10’, Flynn 21’, Sharp 77’) 3-0 Oldham Athletic
Attendance: 18,334 (817 visiting supporters)