Key takeaways from the game for those who, like me, are too hungover to be reading this let alone writing it.
- Worst fans to lose against, best fans to beat
- Millwall aren’t very good, Neil Harris isn’t either
- We’ve got mettle…we’re forged in steel after all
- Family Club of the Year is an anagram of BLOODY QUEUING ALLT TIME
- Olive Garden Pizzeria
- Chris Basham
by Steve Mackan (DNR)
The security staff at Millwall moved as quickly and fluently as the cutlery your nan saves for best. I had queued with my fellow Blades for what seemed like minutes when I finally got to the gate for a pat-down. In fact, it was three minutes past three when removed from my possession were two Boost Bars and a Yop Yoghurt drink. (The confectionary was returned to me after jealous stare by the lad on the door, but the Yop I had to down.)
The first hinge upon which the game swang came about when Shaun Williams, of little to no fame, handled the ball inside the box. Billy Sharp stepped up to take the resulting penalty with a sense of confidence that I didn’t share. The keeper made an outstanding save to deny him. The home contingent celebrated as if they’d just taken their second point in seven games, but the match was far from over…
Sharp, who must have been kicking himself after missing from the spot kick, did not kick home an equaliser on the fortieth minute. Instead, he used his head. Something the wall could do with doing. From a Duffy cross, his glancing header put the Blades one up. 1-0. Delirium in the away end. Bizarre fisting motions and wild gesticulations in the home.
Despite some mild pressure from the opposition and a gash to John Egan’s brow, United went in at half time with a deserved lead. I went in with a deserved Boost and queued and failed to be served a cup of tea. I heard a couple of drunken folk talking about the Millwall manager’s teamtalk, “he’ll give ’em a Rocket at half time,” one of them said. I am still unsure how an Ice Lolly would help matters.
But perhaps it did.
I’d barely swallowed the last glucose-heavy mouthful of confectionary when Millwall scored their equaliser, a header from a corner. My salivary duct was still working overtime when they scored their second, courtesy of Lee Gregory. It was smash ‘n’ grab stuff.
Like Ryan Leonard who lined up for Millwall despite being loaned-out by the Blades, the delirium that had swept us up was now busy doing the same for the other side. The Blades fans hunched over, metaphorically speaking, like a punch-drunk Pub Quizzer who’s only got 6 out of 30.
From the home end a kid, young for a child, leered up at me. His face scrunched up into an angry ball of paper tossed aside by a failed writer. He began to shout ‘you fat c-word’ towards our contingent, precariously standing on the edge of his seat, mimicking a belly with both hands. Any false moves and he might have slipped, were it not for his parent’s buttressing of not only his posterior but his potent hatred for anybody who isn’t Millwall.
The eight-year-old’s pot-bellied prancing quickly went out of fashion. A second penalty to the Blades! The Millwall fans were unhappy and, like the Bay-Ran sunglasses that many had bought from Deptford market to keep the rays out of their eyes on bright days like these, they thought the decision could be Wayfarer. In contrast, I thought it was a stone waller. Didsy score? Of course he did. 2-2.
At level-pegging, the Millwall fans tried to help their team out by hiding the football each time it left the field of play for a throw-in. Unconcerned by the possibility of victory – let’s face it, they haven’t won in weeks – they proceeded to play Throw and Catch. It was real playground stuff.
Nevertheless, it would be Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United that was crowned as King of this particular Castle. We’d cut through Millwall’s back ten for some time. We’d even scored a goal that was ruled out, correctly, for offside. But we kept going. After a wave of pressure, an overload on the righthand side did for Millwall. Didsy at the double; McGoldrick converted from close range and his 88th-minute winner. Cue pandemonium: GETHECHUFFINYOUCHUFFINBEAUTYCOMEONCOMEON*WAVESGOODBYE*YUUUU-NIIII-TEDMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMONEOFFOUROWNGREASYWILDER.
Full time 2-3.
Man of the Match
Leading from the bench. Paul Coutts.