League One - Sheffield United grab play-off edge over Yeovil

League One Play-Off semi-final first-leg, Bramall Lane - Sheffield United 1 (McFadzean 46) Yeovil Town 0

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League One - Sheffield United grab play-off edge over Yeovil
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Sheffield United's Kevin McDonald (left) and Yeovil Town's Sam Foley (right) battle for the ball. (Yeovil Towns' James Hayter in centre)

Callum McFadzean hit the winner as Sheffield United beat Yeovil 1-0 to take control of their League One play-off semi-final at Bramall Lane.

The 19-year-old came off the bench to fire a low shot in off the post via a deflection within seconds of the restart.

It was the youngster's first ever goal for the Blades and capped a fine individual display.

The hosts dominated for long spells and had two penalty appeals turned down in the first half.

However, they were almost made to pay for their profligacy as the Glovers pressed late on and George Long had to be at his best to keep out Byron Webster's acrobatic volley.

Sheffield United came into the game with last season's play-off final heartache still fresh in the memory and they made the type of start that would have had the home faithful confident of another Wembley appearance this time around.

First, Dave Kitson miscued a cross when the unmarked Jamie Murphy was awaiting a simple header at the back post before the ex-Reading man nodded well wide from Barry Robson's pinpoint centre.

And it was Robson who had the effort of the half when he curled a devilish free-kick inches past the right-hand post.

The Blades then had two penalty appeals waved away. Dan Burn was lucky not to be penalised for shoving Kevin McDonald to the floor while Robson appeared to be elbowed as he raced onto a flick on in the area.

As the half wore on Yeovil began to get a foothold in the game and after Murphy crashed a wild shot over the top, the Glovers almost snatched an undeserved lead when Kevin Dawson dragged wide.

And the visitors went close again five minutes prior to the interval when Joe Edwards saw his goalbound shot brilliantly blocked Darryl Westlake.

However, the Blades raced out of the traps following the break and went ahead within seconds of the restart.

A cross from the left found its way through to substitute McFadzean, who saw his deflected effort fly into the net off the post.

The youngster was visibly buoyed by his maiden strike and almost made it two when he tricked his way beyond Jamie McAllister on the right wing, cut into the area and hammered in a shot that Marek Stech did well to push to safety.

As the clock ticked down Yeovil started to press and they had two penalty appeals turned down, with McFadzean, in particular, lucky to escape after handling Luke Ayling's cross.

And with stoppage time approaching they went even closer as Webster's superb effort was magnificently turned away by Long to ensure Sheffield United head into Monday's second leg in control of the tie.

MAN OF THE MATCH:

Callum McFadzean (Sheffield United) - The youngster came off the bench and capped an impressive display of skill and work rate with the winning goal.

PLAYER RATINGS

SHEFFIELD UNITED: Long 6, Westlake 6, Maguire 6, Hill 6, Doyle 6, Porter 7, McDonald 7, Kitson 5, Collins 6, Robson 6, Murphy 6. Subs: McFadzean 8, Ironside 5, Whitehouse 5.

YEOVIL: Stech 5, Ayling 6, Webster 6, Burn 6, McAllister 5, Dawson 6, Upson 5, Edwards 5, Foley 5, Madden 6, Hayter 6. Subs: Balenta

 MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

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