On the ball: United scorer Nick Blackman
On the ball: United scorer Nick Blackman

SHEFFIELD United emerged with victory over Orient after an unstoppable finish from Nick Blackman.

Orient might be suffering from an identity crisis but, speaking on the eve of today’s visit, SUnited manager Danny Wilson challenged his team to display the same sense of purpose which has become their hallmark this term.

opening skirmishes of what had promised to be an awkward encounter against Russell Slade’s charges, proved exactly that with Howard forced to withdraw after 11 minutes and youngster Long taking his place between the posts.

McMahon, tormenting Sawyer down the flank, lashed over again before seeing his appeals for a 17th minute penalty turned down only moments after Blackman had also unleashed a looping effort on the turn.

Despite being deployed as a full-back, McMahon quickly emerged as a real attacking threat and tested Allsop from distance following an excellent 28th minute move involving Gallagher and Flynn

Half-time: Orient 0 United 0

In the 59th minute Kitson teed-up BLACKMAN after some fine work involving McMahon and Flynn and the youngster duly dispatched an unstoppable curling finish.

In the 69th minute, soon after Sawyer had been cautioned for a foul, Long produced a superb save to deny Lisbie following Cook’s cross to the far post.

It earned him a bear hug from Maguire, who later did well to block Cook’s shot, and a chorus of approval from the 1,253 away fans in the crowd.