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Report: Sheffield United Under-23s 5 Blues Under-23s 0

Blues face Cardiff City in their next Professional Development League fixture.

BCFC

Blues Under-23s’ winning run came to an end on Friday afternoon.

Steve Spooner’s side had gone into the game against Sheffield United on the back of six straight victories, but the Blades had too much firepower for Blues and punished the visitors three times in a seven-minute spell that spanned the first and second-half.

First, Daniel Jebbison capitalised on a mistake at the back to open the scoring, before Andre Brooks and Harry Boyes found the net with low finishes either side of the interval.

Two further goals after the break saw Sam Graham head home and Jebbison complete a personal brace to round off a clinical display from the hosts and consign Blues to a heavy defeat at the Technique Stadium in Chesterfield.

Speaking to BCFC.com, Spooner reflected on where the game got away from Blues and highlighted what he felt ultimately cost them.

He explained: “Within a crazy spell they got two goals. The first one is one of those things, we want the players to play and sometimes we have to accept that it will go wrong.

“The second one was harder to swallow as we didn’t defend the corner well enough. We didn’t win the first ball or the second phase and made it too easy for them to score.

“The second-half performance had no real structure to it. We are chasing and they score early. We didn’t look like we’d get back into it; we have one or two efforts and their keeper pulled off a save but we didn’t work him hard enough. They are not the kind of opposition where you can have two or three players out of sorts.”

Despite the scoreline, Blues resisted United for the opening 40 minutes and there were openings for the away team, with the Under-23s Head Coach able to take positives from the outcome.

He said: “I was pleased with how on a really difficult pitch we played against an intense press. We played through the thirds really well and constructed one or two opportunities but didn’t work their keeper when we had the opportunities.

“As a collective we weren’t bad but individually we had some players who were way below. When you get that at any level it is hard, especially against a very hard working and well organised Sheffield United side.”

The 60-year-old concluded his assessment by outlining what comes next and what is required to bounce back.

He said: “The next yardstick is how well you respond from a setback. We’ve been back at it on the training pitch on Sunday morning and again today.

“The players have to learn that how you might be feeling, or how good or bad you are playing, that is never an excuse for not working hard and putting pressure on the ball.”

Sheffield United: Amissah, Seriki, Boyes, Gordon, Graham (Hall 84), Gomis, Maguire (Brunt 69), Neal, Jebbison, Gaxha (Hackford 78), Brooks.

Substitutes not used:  Dewhurst, Williams.

Blues: Brooks, Gordon, Redmond, Bajrami, Burke, Stirk, Campbell (Concannon 70) Thompson Sommers (Dos Reis), Soldevila (Hurst 45), George, Andrews.

Substitutes not used: Sun.

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