Goals from Rhian Brewster and Billy Sharp give Paul Heckingbottom winning start
Goals from Rhian Brewster and Billy Sharp gave Paul Heckingbottom a winning start as Sheffield United manager as they beat Bristol City 2-0 on a snowy afternoon at Bramall Lane.
Heckingbottom, who had a spell as caretaker-manager last season following Chris Wilder’s departure, was introduced to the crowd before kick-off after replacing Slavisa Jokanovic.
Other members of the new-look management team – Stuart McCall and Jack Lester – also took their places on the bench.
The hosts got off to a lively start with Morgan Gibbs-White sending over a low cross early on which just evaded Brewster.
Jayden Bogle then went close, putting a far-post header wide after getting on the end of a cross from Enda Stevens.
City’s first chance fell to Chris Martin who met Alex Scott’s corner with a firm header, but keeper Wes Foderingham was equal to it, making a good save to his right.
Brewster struck five minutes before the break, producing a neat turn and firing low past Daniel Bentley after receiving the ball from Stevens.
There was a break in play lasting around 10 minutes in the early stages of the second half when Nathan Baker received lengthy treatment following a clash of heads. The player was eventually carried off on a stretcher with Robert Atkinson taking his place.
A second substitution followed for the visitors soon afterwards with Nahki Wells replacing Ayman Benarous.
The home side also made an attacking change with Sharp sent on in place of Brewster.
A rare effort on goal from City saw Tyreeq Bakinson try a long-range shot which was saved by Foderingham, who gathered the ball at the second attempt.
Gibbs-White had a shot beaten away by Bentley at his near post after playing a one-two with Oliver Norwood.
Norwood then tried an effort from distance which looked to be drifting off target, but Bentley made sure by turning the ball wide.
United continued to apply pressure with John Egan heading wide and Sharp’s downward shot bouncing up off the turf, forcing Bentley to tip the ball over.
Egan also headed wide before Sharp (89) sealed the victory, applying the finish from close range after David McGoldrick delivered a low cross from the right.
In the 13 minutes of time added on, there were efforts at either end with Gibbs-White and Wells both putting shots wide.
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