FOOTBALL : Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell was left to count the walking wounded after his side halted their losing run with a thrilling 2-2 South Yorkshire derby draw at Barnsley.
Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell was left to count the walking wounded after his side halted their losing run with a thrilling 2-2 South Yorkshire derby draw at Barnsley.
The Blades boss was left with more injury problems after seeing his threadbare squad further depleted by the loss of goalkeeper Ian Bennett and Matt Kilgallon, after Darius Henderson’s 81st-minute penalty denied Barnsley a fifth win in their last seven league matches.
Blackwell said: “I’m proud of the lads, but another game and two more injuries and you can see we’re chasing round having put square pegs in round holes.”
Blackwell was concerned this week that he would be unable to field 11 fit players after the loss of suspended skipper Chris Morgan, and Jordan Stewart (calf) denied him of 12 first-team players.
Bennett failed to show after the half-time break having broken his thumb and Kilgallon suffered an ankle injury following Ryan Shotton’s crude tackle just before the interval.
Blackwell added: “(Andrew) Taylor failed a medical at 4.30pm, (Jamie) Ward (hamstring and broken wrist) came through his, but I knew he’d be tired.
“Jonathan Fortune – that’s his first game since I don’t know when and his first for us after a ruptured Achilles. It was a big test for him.
“(Andrew) Davies got a whack on the knee and normally wouldn’t have played on, but had to because there were no defenders left and the biggest praise is reserved for Derek Geary.
“He’s been out for 18 months, knee rebuilt and has only trained for two weeks and I’ve had to put him in. I’m very proud of him.”