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Sky Bet League 1

Bramall Lane (ATT 19,271) 22nd February 2014 - Kick off 15:00

Sheff Utd Sheffield United vs Bristol City Bristol C

Sheff Utd 3

J Brayford (43)
R Flynn (58)
J Baxter (pen 70)

ft

Blades too sharp for City

Last Updated: 22/02/14 6:59pm

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John Brayford: Opened the scoring

John Brayford: Opened the scoring

Sheffield United boosted their League One survival hopes with a comfortable 3-0 victory over fellow strugglers Bristol City.

John Brayford opened the scoring for Nigel Clough's side before Ryan Flynn combined with Jamie Murphy to double the advantage.

United, who climbed above the Robins in the table, sealed maximum points courtesy of Jose Baxter's penalty as City, who barely made an impression on the match, were left to reflect on a potentially costly afternoon.

The Blades dominated the opening period but we forced to wait until the 43rd minute before taking the lead.

Wade Elliott's shot, which flew safely wide of Mark Howard's far post, proved to be a rare moment of promise for City who from that moment on found themselves struggling to contain the hosts.

Aden Flint was forced to hack clear off the line after Murphy, one of the stars of United's march into the FA Cup quarter-finals, pressurised Simon Moore into a mistake as they contested a looping high ball before fellow winger Flynn swept a shot inches wide from an acute angle.

Harry Maguire appeared destined to break the deadlock after powering through to the edge of City's six-yard box but Jay Emmanuel-Thomas bravely flung himself in front of a fierce shot.

A feature of United's play under Clough has been their ability to wreak havoc down the flanks. So, with compatriot Stefan Scougall asked to drive beyond lone striker Jose Baxter at every opportunity, it was no surprise to see the two Scots continue to feature at the heart of United's best moves.

But Brayford, on loan from Cardiff, was responsible for handing United the lead when he fired home after Maguire had helped on Baxter's corner.

The visitors, aware of the afternoon's significance, looked a much more cohesive unit at the start of the second half. But again it was United, this time through Bob Harris, who came closest to scoring when his free-kick was saved by Moore.

However, he was powerless to prevent Flynn from doubling the advantage just before the hour after the ever-threatening Murphy had ghosted past Karleigh Osborne and found his colleague on the edge of the box.

The hapless Osborne was responsible for conceding the foul on Flynn which allowed Baxter to convert from the spot in the 70th minute.

Mark Howard denied Elliott and Sam Baldock with a fine double save during the closing stages.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet League 1

Sky Bet League 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bristol City 20 42
2 Swindon Town 20 41
3 Milton Keynes Dons 19 38
4 Preston North End 20 38
5 Sheffield United 20 32
6 Rochdale 20 30
7 Notts County 19 30
8 Oldham Athletic 20 30
9 Peterborough United 20 30
10 Bradford City 20 29
11 Fleetwood Town 20 26
12 Walsall 20 26
13 Chesterfield 20 25
14 Coventry City 20 24
15 Barnsley 20 23
16 Port Vale 20 23
17 Doncaster Rovers 19 23
18 Gillingham 20 22
19 Scunthorpe United 19 22
20 Crawley Town 20 22
21 Yeovil Town 20 20
22 Leyton Orient 20 19
23 Colchester United 20 17
24 Crewe Alexandra 20 16