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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 46 99
2 Milton Keynes Dons 46 91
3 Preston North End 46 89
4 Swindon Town 46 79
5 Sheffield United 46 71
6 Chesterfield 46 69
7 Bradford City 46 65
8 Rochdale 46 63
9 Peterborough United 46 63
10 Fleetwood Town 46 63
11 Barnsley 46 62
12 Gillingham 46 62
13 Doncaster Rovers 46 61
14 Walsall 46 59
15 Oldham Athletic 46 57
16 Scunthorpe United 46 56
17 Coventry City 46 55
18 Port Vale 46 54
19 Colchester United 46 52
20 Crewe Alexandra 46 52
21 Notts County 46 50
22 Crawley Town 46 50
23 Leyton Orient 46 49
24 Yeovil Town 46 40