Sheffield United 2-0 Bristol City: Paul Heckingbottom’s reign begins with victory

Veteran Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp scored his sixth goal of the season

Paul Heckingbottom’s tenure as Sheffield United boss got off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over Bristol City at a snowy Bramall Lane.

Rhian Brewster’s low drilled shot from 15 yards out gave the hosts the lead just before half-time.

Veteran substitute Billy Sharp then got the Blades their second with two minutes of normal time remaining with a strike from close range, to secure the win.

Sheffield United have now won back-to-back games in the league for only the second time this season and move up four places to 13th in the Championship, with Bristol City three points and five places behind.

There was a lengthy stoppage in the second half as Robins centre-back Nathan Baker was stretchered off in a neck brace after a head injury, which resulted in 13 minutes of added time.

The former Aston Villa defender had only recently returned to the Bristol City side after suffering a concussion in their defeat at West Brom last month.

Sheffield United came into the match off the back of a turbulent week that saw manager Slavisa Jokanovic sacked after just six months in charge, following an underwhelming start to the season.

Heckingbottom, who was in caretaker charge of the Blades when they were relegated from the Premier League last season, was instantly installed and handed a four-and-a-half year deal on the same day.

The week also saw midfielder John Fleck hospitalised after he collapsed during Tuesday’s win over Reading. The Scotland international was discharged from hospital on Wednesday and in attendance at Bramall Lane for the match.

The Blades started brightest and caused Bristol City all kinds of problems, Wolves loanee Morgan Gibbs-White sending a low cross across the face of goal that Brewster could not quite get on the end of.

Brewster then twice saw shots go wide, while Jayden Bogle could not quite get his header on target after David McGoldrick made a break down the left wing.

The Robins were restricted and saw three players booked for time-wasting within the first 40 minutes. But they still created arguably the best chance of the first 45 minutes when Alex Scott’s corner picked…

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