Sheffield United claimed victory in the first match of the 2013-14 Football League season with a narrow win over 10-man Notts County.
The visitors had centre-back Gary Liddle sent off inside the first 15 minutes for a dangerous high tackle on Blades midfielder Kevin McDonald.
McDonald put the hosts in front, neatly converting Daryl Westlake's cross.
New season, same old problems
Notts County had seven players sent off last season, more than any other club in League One.
Enoch Showumni levelled with a low volley but Harry Maguire's header won it for David Weir's side.
The game had been selected as one of six fixtures to mark the Football League's 125th anniversary.
Sheffield United's Bramall Lane home is the oldest professional football ground in the world, while Notts County were one of the 12 founder members of the Football League and are the oldest team in the world currently playing at a professional level.
The visitors came close to breaking the deadlock when home goalkeeper George Long was forced into an excellent reaction stop from Danny Haynes's header.
It proved a pivotal moment, as from the ensuing Blades breakaway, Liddle took out McDonald with a high challenge that saw referee Keith Stroud issue a red card.
Thereafter the hosts, under the management of Weir for the first time in a competitive fixture, took total control of the game.
It came as little surprise when they took the lead through a well-worked goal. A concerted spell of passing culminated in Febian Brandy releasing Westlake down the right-hand side and his low centre was steered into the bottom corner by McDonald from 10 yards.
This was the 79th competitive meeting between the two sides. The first was an FA Cup tie at Bramall Lane in January 1891. County won 9-1.
Despite struggling to get out of their own half, the Magpies could well have gone in level at the break, had Joss Labadie managed to get a clean connection on Alan Sheehan's free-kick.
The hosts, beaten in the League One play-offs in each of the last two seasons, picked up where they left off after the break but McDonald, Chris Porter and Neill Collins were all unable to keep their efforts on target.
They were made to pay for their profligacy when Showumni outmuscled Maguire from keeper Bartosz Bialkowski's long free-kick and fired a low half-volley in from 20 yards to give Notts the most unlikely of equalisers.
Weir's side responded well to conceding and regained the lead they deserved when Stephen McGinn's deep free-kick was headed home at the back post by Maguire.
Mark Fotheringham came close to levelling with a well hit 25-yard volley but the hosts ended the match in controlled fashion to take the three points.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Sheffield United manager David Weir told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"To get off to that start with three points, that's obviously what we came here for.
"I thought we played well, obviously the sending off (of Magpies defender Gary Liddle) changed things and added a little bit of pressure for us as well.
"And then them scoring (the equaliser) as well gave us another test so I think we learned a lot of things tonight.
"There were a few questions asked of us and I thought we came through well."
Live text and stats
Friday, 2 August 2013
08 Doyle (Coady 79)
19 Brandy yellow card
09 Porter (Taylor 68)
04 Liddle red card
06 Leacock yellow card
16 Labadie yellow card (Tempest 58)
22 Fotheringham yellow card
10 Haynes (Zoko 66)
15 Arquin (Showunmi 56)
Ref: StroudAtt: 17,944
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
Correction - 90:00+5:20 The referee blows for the end of the match.
90:00+5:20 The referee blows the whistle to end the game.
90:00+4:22 Caution for Dean Leacock.
90:00+4:16 Foul by Dean Leacock on Kevin McDonald, free kick awarded.
90:00+3:38 Harry Maguire manages to make a clearance.
90:00+3:28 Lyle Taylor takes a shot. Bartosz Bialkowski catches the ball.
90:00+3:16 Free kick taken by Conor Coady.
90:00+2:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Fotheringham on Kevin McDonald.
90:00+1:38 Darryl Westlake takes a shot and went wide left of the net.
90:00+1:33 Clearance made by Andre Boucaud.
90:00+1:11 Darryl Westlake restarts play with the free kick.
Correction - 90:00+1:07 Unfair challenge on Lyle Taylor by Alan Sheehan results in a free kick.
90:00+1:07 Alan Sheehan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darryl Westlake.
90:00+0:19 Conor Coady takes a shot and missed to the left of the net.
90:00+0:10 Febian Brandy decides to take a short corner.
89:46 Lyle Taylor takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Mustapha Dumbuya gets a block in.
89:39 Short corner worked by Callum McFadzean.
89:22 Febian Brandy takes the chance to get an effort at goal. A parry by Bartosz Bialkowski prevents the goal.
88:40 Centre by Callum McFadzean.
88:37 Short corner taken by Callum McFadzean.
87:52 Harry Maguire takes the free kick.
87:43 Unfair challenge on Darryl Westlake by Enoch Showunmi results in a free kick.
87:39 Neill Collins makes a clearance.
86:35 Dean Leacock manages to make a clearance.
86:05 Mark Fotheringham has an effort at goal and missed to the left of the target.
86:04 Clearance by Neill Collins.
85:13 Header by Francois Zoko misses to the right of the target.
85:11 Enoch Showunmi produces a cross.
85:03 The ball is swung over by Greg Tempest.
84:26 Clearance made by Kevin McDonald.
81:29 Conor Coady restarts play with the free kick.
81:23 Febian Brandy fouled by Jamal Campbell-Ryce, the ref awards a free kick.
81:00 Greg Tempest makes a clearance.
79:25 Alan Sheehan manages to make a clearance.
79:20 Lyle Taylor has a direct shot on goal from the free kick. A parry by Bartosz Bialkowski prevents the goal.
78:51 Substitution Conor Coady on for Michael Doyle.
76:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Fotheringham on Febian Brandy.
75:00 Bartosz Bialkowski restarts play with the free kick.
74:42 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Dean Leacock by Harry Maguire.
74:41 Francois Zoko manages to make a clearance.
74:40 Header at goal by Lyle Taylor misses to the right.
74:38 Corner taken by Callum McFadzean from the left by-line.
73:53 Kevin McDonald takes a shot. Alan Sheehan gets a block in.
70:24 Clearance made by Alan Sheehan.
70:22 Kevin McDonald sends in a cross.
70:02 Mustapha Dumbuya crosses the ball.
69:34 Callum McFadzean takes a shot. Mustapha Dumbuya gets a block in.
68:24 Alan Sheehan makes a clearance.
67:55 Alan Sheehan manages to make a clearance.
67:54 Clearance made by Greg Tempest.
67:53 Lyle Taylor crosses the ball.
67:41 Clearance made by Harry Maguire.
67:21 Substitution Chris Porter leaves the field to be replaced by Lyle Taylor.
66:14 Stephen McGinn provided the assist for the goal.
66:14 GOAL - Harry Maguire:Sheffield Utd 2 - 1 Notts County Harry Maguire scores with a header. Sheff Utd 2-1 Notts County.
65:18 Substitution Danny Haynes goes off and Francois Zoko comes on.
Correction - 64:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Greg Tempest on Darryl Westlake.
64:42 Jamal Campbell-Ryce gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darryl Westlake.
63:06 Jamie Murphy produces a cross.
62:45 Clearance by Marcus Williams.
62:45 Mustapha Dumbuya makes a clearance.
60:38 Neill Collins makes a clearance.
60:03 Stephen McGinn takes a shot and cleared the goal.
59:35 Clearance made by Dean Leacock.
59:34 Centre by Marcus Williams.
58:08 GOAL - Enoch Showunmi:Sheffield Utd 1 - 1 Notts County Enoch Showunmi scores with their right foot. Sheff Utd 1-1 Notts County.
58:02 Bartosz Bialkowski restarts play with the free kick.
57:49 Substitution Joss Labadie goes off and Greg Tempest comes on.
57:17 Neill Collins concedes a free kick for a foul on Joss Labadie.
56:10 Alan Sheehan crosses the ball in from the free kick.
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