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League One
Aug 9, 2014 at 12.15pm UK
 
BC

1-2

Higdon (32')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Wilbraham (20'), Elliott (72')

Live Commentary: Sheffield United 1-2 Bristol City - as it happened

:Headline: Live Commentary: Sheffield United 1-2 Bristol City - as it happened: ID:170147: from db_amp
Relive Bristol City's first win at Bramall Lane for 57 years in the opening game of the 2014-15 League One season.

The first game of the 2014-15 League One season took place on Saturday lunchtime as promotion favourites Sheffield United and Bristol City met at Brammall Lane.

The duo are both expected to be challenging at the top of the table come Spring and today it was Bristol who landed the first blow with their first win away to the Blades for 57 years.

Read how it all unfolded in our minute-by-minute updates below.

Good morning football fans! Just half an hour until the second Football League game of the new season and the first in League One.
The Football League season began last night when Blackburn Rovers hosted Cardiff City in the Championship. The game ended 1-1 at Ewood Park. More about that one, here.
Right, let's build up to this lunchtime's game at Brammall Lane. First, the team news...
SHEFFIELD UNITED XI: Howard, Alcock, Harris, Basham, Flynn, Murphy, Scougall, Davies, McGahey, Higdon, Reed
BRISTOL CITY XI: Fielding, Little, Cunningham, Ayling, Flint, Williams, Smith, Elliott, Freeman, Baldock, Wilbraham
Debuts galore for both sides as 10 players in total, five on each team, make their first appearances for their new clubs after summer transfers. For the Blades, it's Craig Alcock, Chris Basham, Ben Davies, Harrison McGahey and Michael Higdon, who captains the hosts. For the Robins, Mark Little, Luke Ayling, Korey Smith, Luke Freeman and Aaron Wilbraham make their first competitive appearances.
SUBS: And here are the two benches for today's game:

Blades: Willis, Doyle, Baxter, McNulty, Collins, Porter, Campbell-Ryce

Robins: Richards, El-Abd, Pack, Bryan, Wagstaff, Burns, Emmanuel-Thomas

REFEREE WATCH! The man with the whistle today is Paul Tierney, who last officiated the League Two playoff semi-final between Southend United and Burton Albion back in May.
There are a couple of surprises in Nigel Clough's team selection for the home side. Michael Doyle starts on the bench and so new boy Higdon takes the armband. Teenagers McGahey and Louis Reed both start, while last season's top scorer Chris Porter has to settle for a place on the bench.
These two both finished in the top half last season, but outside of the playoffs. Their seasons were similar in the sense that they both started slowly but steadily improved throughout the campaign. It's probably why they are the two favourites for promotion this season.
Bristol City have only been in League One for one season after suffering relegation from the Championship in 2012-13. For the Blades, it's been three long years and last season was the first time in three that they hadn't made the playoffs, finishing one spot outside the top six in seventh.
H2H: United won both games last season with an aggregate score of 4-0 and also haven't lost to City at home for 18 games - a run stretching back to 1957!
The Blades will be in their traditional red-and-white stripes today, while Bristol are showcasing their new purple and lime alternative kit. It's the first time in 20 years that they've worn those colours and I rather like it!

PREDICTION: With just five minutes until kickoff in sunny Sheffield, it's time for my prediction. It should be a close game, but I just fancy the away side to nick it. 0-1.
When asked why Higdon has been given the armband on his debut, Clough says: "He's the most experienced player we've got out there today." He adds that the summer signing hasn't trained too much of late so he is hoping that the armband gives him a boost.
Robins boss Steve Coterrill has been in confident mood in the build-up. "I think it's a great opening game for us. The players could gain a huge boost from going up there and getting a result. To be honest, if I had the choice between playing them home or away on the opening day, I'd choose away," he said.
It's odd to see two strikers as captains, but that's how it is today with Higdon and Sam Baldock, who scores goals for fun in the third tier.
KICKOFF! The purple-and-lime Robins get the 2014-15 League One season underway.
First goalmouth action comes in the fourth minute after a stale start. Freeman whips over a free kick from the right for Bristol and Ayling goes down under the challenge of Basham in the middle. Referee Tierney isn't interested and rightly waves away the Robins' claims.
Another Bristol set piece and again they win the first ball, but it comes to nothing. Freeman's deliveries from that right-hand side really are fizzy.
Brammall Lane is one of the biggest grounds in the third tier and there's hoards of empty seats in the ground today.
A first opening for the hosts as McGahey wins the ball in the middle before Flynn collects on the right. His low cross is a poor one and easily dealt with by Flint.
The home side are having their best spell of the match and have just been denied a simple tap-in at the back post by some intelligent defending by Williams.
Almost a disastrous moment for Robins keeper Fielding as he poorly kicks straight at Higdon, but it ricochets safely away.
SHOT! First decent effort of the game comes from Flynn, but it's straight at Fielding.
This is a really good spell for the home side. After putting in a dangerous cross that was well dealt with by the Bristol defence, Harris fires a shot a yard or so wide that had Fielding beaten.
CHANCE! And now a chance for the visitors as Elliott's free kick should be nodded goalwards by Flint, but he can't get enough purchase and the ball bobbles harmlessly wide.
GOAL! BLADES 0-1 BRISTOL CITY (WILBRAHAM)
Moments after producing the first shot on target, Wilbraham powerfully heads the Blades in front. Credit must go to Little, who stormed down the right before clipping to the back post, where Wilbraham's header is too strong for Howard to keep out.

OFF THE LINE! The Blades almost hit back quickly as Fielding flaps at a high cross and can only punch it straight to Scougall. He strikes it well from the centre of the box, but there are several purple shirts on the line and it's Flint who makes the block.
SAVE! Even closer to an equaliser as Davies's deep cross is met by Higdon and his header is tipped over the top by Fielding. Good response to going behind, this.
CLOSE! How have Sheffield United not scored?! Flynn pounces on some Bristol confusion and crosses low to Scougall, who miscues his shot. The ball falls to the feet of Murphy, who hits it back across goal where Flint hooks clear from under his own crossbar.
GOAL! BLADES 1-1 BRISTOL CITY (HIGDON)
The hosts' pressure pays off as new boy and captain Higdon flicks a free kick low into the corner. Fine header and just what the Blades deserve.
CHANCE! Oh dear me what a miss from Scougall. The home side should be in front as Flynn is left unmarked at the back post and clips it back across goal where Scougall can only head over.
The Blades are bouncing at the moment! They come close again as Higdon wins the first header before Scougall nudges it into the path of Basham, whose volley is well-struck but a couple of yards wide of the upright.
Bristol try to impose themselves, but Freeman's low shot from 22 yards is easy for Howard to save.
Superb football from the Blades down the left but there's no end product as Harris overcooks his cross after a one-two with Scougall.
Suspect refereeing from Tierney as he waits until Bristol have put in a dangerous cross before bringing the game to a stop as Harris has a head injury. The Sheffield man was accidentally elbowed by Little when challenging for a ball on the right wing. This looks nasty.
The game is still at a standstill as Harris receives plenty of medical treatment. It looks like he might have needed the oxygen mask and this could be his game over.
Given the new rules about concussion, this could be the first time that a doctor rules a player unfit to continue.
I'm not sure that Harris did lose consciousness and he's insisted that he's OK to continue.
Every time Little touches the ball now he is being booed by the home fans. That's a little harsh as even though it was an elbow, it didn't look intentional.
That lengthy delay because of Harris's knock means that there will be five minutes of injury time at the end of the first half.
Little to speak of in added time, it looks like both sides want to get in and have a breather.
HALF-TIME: SHEFFIELD UNITED 1-1 BRISTOL CITY
A great half of football to begin the League One season! Bristol took the lead through Wilbraham after an even start to the match, but then Sheffield took over and are deservedly level. Higdon scored their equaliser so two debutants have netted the goals.
Surprisingly, the Robins have actually had more possession (54%) away from home, but it's the Blades who have looked more dangerous. They've had 10 shots, with four of those on target.
Remember, a win for Bristol today would be their first at Brammall Lane for 57 years!
They're going to need to turn the tables quickly, though, as the Blades were the best side since they conceded that Wilbraham goal, which was his first in the league for two years!
We're now less than two hours away from the bulk of fixtures in the Football League at 3pm. You can see who's playing who on our main fixtures page here.
A great way to start your time as a Blade!

KICKOFF! We're back underway in South Yorkshire. No changes at half time from either manager.
By the way, if you're only just joining us and want a quick recap on the first half, our half-time report is here.
BOOKING! The first yellow card of the 2014-15 season goes to Bristol's Little, who overran the ball and lunged in late.
Moments after being booked, Little then wastes a great crossing position and that is delightful for the home fans, who have been booing him since he inadvertently elbowed Harris in the first half.
BOOKING! Another Bristol booking as Smith carelessly dangles out a leg to bring down Harris.
CHANCE! Elliott slips in Baldock down the right and he crosses for strike partner Wilbraham. It's not easy for the former Crystal Palace man and he completely miscues his kick on the half-volley.
SAVE! All Bristol at the moment as Smith feeds Baldock, who has his first real sight of goal but can only blast it straight at Howard.
CORRECTION! It wasn't Smith who was booked a moment ago, but Sheffield's Murphy for diving. Replays show that it was a great call by referee Tierney. So, to confirm, it is Little of Bristol and Murphy of United who have been yellow-carded.
It's the away side who have definitely started the second half better. They have another shot on target as Baldock cuts back to Freeman, whose first touch sets it up on his left before a low shot is held by Howard.
This afternoon's attendance at Brammall Lane is 19,889. Even though there's plenty of empty seats, still very impressive for a third-tier game.
JUST WIDE! Almost a freak goal for the Robins as Baldock is challenged on the edge of the box by Alcock and the ball ricochets a yard wide.
BLADES SUB: Jamal Campbell-Ryce makes his debut for United, replacing Flynn on the right.
You can see how much Bristol have dominated this second half so far as they've had four shots and United have had none.

Surely Cotterill will be thinking about a change soon? Jay Emmanuel-Thomas seems the most likely option to bring off the bench.
GOAL! BLADES 1-2 BRISTOL CITY (ELLIOTT)
Superb stuff from the Robins as Wilbraham brilliantly backheels a volley into the path of Elliott, who drills low into the corner from 10 yards. Can they defend their lead better now than in the first half?
CLOSE! Freeman almost puts the game to bed by tricking his way to the edge of the area and flashing a low shot inches wide.
SUBS: Both managers make a change, with Mark McNulty replacing Scougall for the home side and Marlon Pack coming on for the impressive Freeman for the Robins.
BOOKING! Dear me, a second booking of the day for diving. This one is for Sheffield United too and exactly the right call as Davies tumbled pathetically in the area.
Cunningham bursts forward for Bristol after stealing the ball in the middle but can't quite get off a shot as he is crowded out in the area.
OFF THE POST! Oh my giddy goodness, how has this not gone in?! The ball breaks to Murphy fortuitously and his shot is deflected onto the post by Fielding before Flint makes his third goal-line clearance of the afternoon.
Bristol are inevitably sitting back more and more and Higdon, who has been ever so quiet in the second half, has just missed the target with a tough header at the back post. Not long left at Brammall Lane.
CLOSE! Basham's header looks like it is going to nestle into the corner until one of his own players gets a toe to it to deflect it wide!
BLADES SUB: Final change for the home side as Basham is replaced by Jose Baxter for the last five minutes or so.
ROBINS SUB: The likely match-winner for the visitors, Wade Elliott, is replaced by Scott Wagstaff.
Flint makes another good clearance as FIVE minutes of additional time are signalled. The Robins centre-back has been my man of the match today.
ROBINS SUB: A third and final change for the visitors as Baldock is replaced by Emmanuel-Thomas.
Careless play from Cunningham as he lets McNulty in down the right, but the forward can only pick out Fielding with his low cross. Time running out for the home side.
FULL-TIME: SHEFFIELD UNITED 1-2 BRISTOL CITY
A big win for the Robins as they end a run of 18 games without a win at Brammall Lane that stretched back 57 years. They're top of League One, for now at least.
City took the lead through Aaron Wilbraham's powerful header before fellow debutant Michael Higdon equalised for the Blades. The game was won by Wade Elliott's cool finish 18 minutes from time.
Our man of the match today was Aden Flint, who made three clearances under his own crossbar and also won many a header in the Bristol backline. Credit to Wilbraham, too, for a good goal and fabulous assist for the winner.
Anyway, it's time for us to say goodbye on this commentary. Click here for our match report on the game and make sure you keep it Sports Mole this afternoon for plenty of coverage on the first full day of the 2014-15 Football League season!
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