League One - 1st Leg
Sheff UtdSheffield United1SwindonSwindon Town2

Sheffield United 1-2 Swindon Town

By Ian WoodcockBBC Sport at Bramall Lane
Nathan Byrne
Nathan Byrne struck in stoppage time to give Swindon a 2-1 lead ahead of Monday's second leg

Nathan Byrne grabbed the winner in injury time as Swindon came from behind to beat Sheffield United in the first leg of their League One play-off semi-final at Bramall Lane.

The Blades took the lead through Kieron Freeman's low half-volley before Swindon midfielder Ben Gladwin saw his penalty saved well by Mark Howard.

Swindon equalised after the break, Sam Ricketts heading home Byrne's corner.

And winger Byrne won it when his low 18-yarder beat Howard.

Kieron Freeman
Kieron Freeman's 19th-minute strike gave Sheffield United the lead

Byrne's goal will have vindicated boss Mark Cooper's decision to rotate his squad in the build up to the play-offs.

The Wiltshire side had used 27 players in the final five matches of the regular season and manager Cooper made nine changes from the team that drew with Leyton Orient on Sunday.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, they started slowly and could have found themselves behind before Freeman took a touch and finished well from Ryan Flynn's pull-back on 19 minutes.

Gladwin, whose penalty was well kept out by Howard after Chris Basham fouled Byrne, was lucky to escape what looked like a handball in the area and striker Steven Davies could not quite convert Bob Harris's low cross-shot.

Sam Ricketts
Sam Ricketts' headed in Swindon Town's equaliser early in the second half

The Robins improved as the half wore on and they deservedly levelled when veteran Ricketts lost his man to head in.

Sheffield United, looking for success in the play-offs at the eighth attempt, pushed on for a winner in the latter stages but Davies saw his powerful shot from 18 yards well saved by visiting goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.

They were left to regret their missed chances when Byrne took one final run at the Blades backline and fired a low shot across Howard.

The Robins will now be the favourites to reach the play-off final at Wembley on 24 May, when they host the return leg on Monday.

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Howard
  • 26Freeman
  • 5BrayfordSubstituted forScougallat 45'minutesSubstituted forDoyleat 88'minutes
  • 19McEveley
  • 3HarrisBooked at 31mins
  • 7Flynn
  • 6Basham
  • 18Coutts
  • 9Murphy
  • 35HoltSubstituted forDoneat 74'minutes
  • 32DaviesBooked at 38mins

Substitutes

  • 2Alcock
  • 8Doyle
  • 10Scougall
  • 12McNulty
  • 14Done
  • 24Turner
  • 29Adams

Swindon

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Foderingham
  • 2Thompson
  • 5Stephens
  • 6Turnbull
  • 3Byrne
  • 4Luongo
  • 8KasimBooked at 77mins
  • 7GladwinSubstituted forSwiftat 68'minutes
  • 36RickettsBooked at 65mins
  • 24HyltonSubstituted forWilliamsat 76'minutes
  • 9SmithSubstituted forObikaat 90+6'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Williams
  • 14Swift
  • 20Obika
  • 23Barthram
  • 26Rodgers
  • 32Marshall
  • 37Belford
Referee:
Darren Bond
Attendance:
20,890

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamSwindon
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home20
Away15
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home9
Away5
Fouls
Home9
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield United 1, Swindon Town 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield United 1, Swindon Town 2.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Swindon Town. Jonathan Obika replaces Michael Smith.

  4. Goal!

    Goal! Sheffield United 1, Swindon Town 2. Nathan Byrne (Swindon Town) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Massimo Luongo.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Sam Ricketts.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Jordan Turnbull.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Matt Done (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Robert Harris with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ryan Flynn (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Flynn (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kieron Freeman.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Massimo Luongo.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Michael Doyle replaces Stefan Scougall because of an injury.

  12. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  13. Post update

    Delay in match Stefan Scougall (Sheffield United) because of an injury.

  14. Post update

    Foul by John Swift (Swindon Town).

  15. Post update

    Paul Coutts (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jack Stephens (Swindon Town) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Swindon Town. Conceded by Robert Harris.

  18. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  19. Post update

    Delay in match Yaser Kasim (Swindon Town) because of an injury.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stefan Scougall (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Matt Done with a cross following a fast break.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bristol City462912596385899
2MK Dons4627109101445791
3Preston462514779403989
4Swindon4623101376571979
5Sheff Utd4619141366531371
6Chesterfield4619121568551369
7Bradford461714155555065
8Rochdale46196217266663
9Peterborough46189195356-363
10Fleetwood461712174952-363
11Barnsley461711186261162
12Gillingham461614166566-162
13Doncaster461613175862-461
14Walsall461417155054-459
15Oldham461415175467-1357
16Scunthorpe461414186275-1356
17Coventry461316174960-1155
18Port Vale46159225565-1054
19Colchester461410225877-1952
20Crewe461410224375-3252
21Notts County461214204563-1850
22Crawley461311225379-2650
23Leyton Orient461213215969-1049
24Yeovil461010263675-3940
View full League One table

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