SIX things we learned from Sheffield United's 2-1 win over Oxford this afternoon
Chris Wilder enjoyed his first win as Sheffield United manager this afternoon - and here are six talking points from the 2-1 win over Oxford.
It was a good day to be called Jake Wright: The younger one, on United's books, scored one and set one up for loan club York in their 4-1 win at home to Woking and his older namesake made his competitive Blades debut against the team he used to captain. Wright Sr. replaced Jack O'Connell after his Millwall horror show and hardly put a foot wrong all afternoon, shackling the lively Wes Thomas effectively.
Wilder once again showed he isn't afraid to make tough decisions. O'Connell found himself on the bench after conceding a vital penalty at Millwall, but ended up impressing at left-back after Chris Hussey was hooked at half-time. The left-back was signed as much for his offensive skills as his defensive ones, and his delivery - including one corner that went straight out of play - was poor.
Mark Duffy once again showed his worth to the team. Duffy frustrates the crowd whenever he loses the ball, but the fact is that he is the only established member of this team who is comfortable receiving the ball to feet and running at defenders. Wingers by their nature are unpredictable beasts and, for United's sake, I hope he isn't pressured into always taking the easy option to avoid the wrath of supporters.
The equaliser meant so much to Billy Sharp. The United skipper has endured a difficult start to the season but forced home his second goal of the season from Matt Done's cross. Momentum took him into the crowd before he, wisely, jumped back onto the pitch and, perhaps not so wisely, kicked an advertising hoarding! Leon Clarke did similar in his Wednesday days and broke a toe. Luckily, Sharp avoided a similar fate and led his side to their first win.
United's supporters were very good. Not just in terms of numbers - although another 19,000 crowd is nothing short of amazing - but in support too. Oxford going ahead didn't create the poisonous atmosphere it has in the past, and Sharp's equaliser generated a roar that gave James Wilson's winner an element of inevitability. Alan Knill acknowledged their influence after the game and he was spot on.
Referee Nicholas Kinsley. It takes a lot for a ref to have no real major decisions to make, yet still have a shocker. Kinsley managed it with aplomb and when you're booed off by the team that's ended up winning the game, you know it's been a bad afternoon. Kinsley booked Chris Basham for a late challenge inside the first 30 seconds, and that was probably the only decision he got right all afternoon. Okay, that might be a little harsh, but the indignation that greeted him blowing up for an Oxford offside when United had the ball and were on the attack said it all. An unbelievable and unfathomable display at times.