On Saturday 28th January I visited Bramall Lane to watch League 1 side Sheffield United take on Birmingham City of the Championship.
With Chesterfield having played the previous day, we decided to make the short journey to Bramall Lane to watch the Blades play Birmingham in the 4th round of the FA Cup. I have been to to the ground many times before, but with my ticket costing just £5 it seemed like a good chance to watch some good quality football.
We arrived at the ground about an hour before kick off, bought our tickets and walked around the ground soaking up the match day atmosphere for a while before heading through the turnstiles.
Sadly, as seems to be becoming the norm for FA Cup ties, the ground wasn’t full to capacity but the Blues had brought over 4,000 supporters and a total attendance of 18,072 created a good atmosphere.
The game got underway with the “Greasy Chip Butty” song ringing around the ground and United started stronger without creating any good opportunities to take the lead. The Blues quickly got a foothold on the game however and after some pressure they took the lead on the 18th minute. A clever corner from Jordon Mutch found Nathan Redmond who fired the ball past the Blades ‘keeper Steve Simonsen to put the Championship side ahead.
The Blues continued to attack and doubled their advantage on the 38th minute courtesy of former Chesterfield player Adam Rooney. Chris Burke’s cross found Rooney in the box and his first time shot beat the goalkeeper to put daylight between the two sides.
Sheffield United tried to get back in to the game early in the second half and came very close when Lee Williamson’s effort hit the bar before Matt Lowton got on the rebound and smashed his shot off the post.
Any hope of a Blades revival was gone just before the hour when Wade Elliott’s shot from the edge of the area flew in to the bottom corner. Birmingham completed their demolition of United with a world class goal. A string of 13 passes led to Rooney’s getting on the end of a cross to finish off an excellent performance for the Blues with his 2nd and Birmingham’s 4th goal of the game.
The game had really highlighted the gulf in class between the top of the Championship and League 1, and as one United fan said it full time it really was “men against boys”.
After the game I had a picture with Birmingham’s first team coach Paul Trollope, every one of the 11 players that started for the Blues along with both substitutes who came on and 2 unused subs! Finally, before heading home I had a picture with manager Chris Hughton to top off a great day.
Sheffield United 0-4 Birmingham City
Redmond ’18, Rooney ’38 ’78, Elliott ’58Simonsen, Lowton, Lescinel (Williams ’60), Collins, Maguire, Doyle, Williamson, McDonald, Quinn (Flynn ’72), Evans, Cresswell (Porter ’72) Doyle, Murphy, Caldwell, Spector, Davies, Burke (Gnahore ’80), Mutch (Reilly ’80), Gomis, Elliott, Redmond, Rooney