Ipswich Town. . . . .0
BRIAN DEANE's second hat-trick in five days condemned Ipswich to their biggest defeat of the campaign. Dave Bassett has said all along that the England striker would get over his goal drought, but nobody forecast a flood.
A week ago Deane was fretting over a mere seven goals all season and had given Bramall Lane nothing to cheer about in the League since August. Now his biggest problem is what to do with his collection of match balls.
'It has been quite a week for us,' said Bassett. He signed Franz Carr on loan from Newcastle, Deane's headed hat-trick dispatched Burnley in a Cup replay, and yesterday he did it again. Apres Carr, it seems, le deluge.
It took the Blades half an hour to open up Ipswich, despite a following gale: Carr's cross, Deane's powerful header from six yards.
But with the wind in their favour, Ipswich threatened. Alan Kelly kept them out with his legs when David Linighan got on the end of Neil Thompson's free-kick and Chris Kiwomya shot across the face of the goal and then headed over the bar with only Kelly to beat.
Two goals in two minutes, against the run of play, blew out their fire. The substitute Vlado Bozinoski could only clear Glyn Hodges' corner as far as Jamie Hoyland, who returned it for another Deane header. The pair combined again for Deane to demonstrate that he can score with his feet as well, shooting across Baker's body from the edge of the box. It could have been worse for Ipswich. Baker palmed Ian Bryson's chip on to a post in the dying seconds.
Sheffield United: A Kelly; K Gage, D Barnes, J Hoyland, B Gayle, P Beesley, C Kamara, F Carr, A Cork (I Bryson, 80 min), B Deane, G Hodges. Subs not used: M Ward, P Kite (gk). Manager: D Bassett.
Ipswich Town: C Baker; G Johnson (V Bozinoski, 70 min), N Thompson, M Stockwell (E Youds, 83 min), P Whelan, D Linighan, G Williams, B Genchev, S Whitton, J Dozzell, C Kiwomya. Sub not used: C Forrest (gk). Team Manager: M McGiven.
Referee: D Allison (Lancaster).
Goals: Deane (1-0, 32 min); Deane (2-0, 72 min); Deane (3-0, 74 min).