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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 March, 2002, 18:23 GMT
'Battle of Bramall Lane' abandoned
Sheff Utd 0-3 West Brom
(Abandoned 82 minutes)

Sheffield United's First Division match against West Bromwich Albion was abandoned after the home team were left with only six players on the field.

The Blades had three players sent off and two had to leave the field through injury.

West Brom were leading 3-0 when referee Eddie Wolstenholme brought the match to a halt with just eight minutes remaining.

Football League officials will discuss in a meeting on Thursday whether to award the three points to the visitors or to order the game to be replayed.

But West Brom manager Gary Megson insisted his side will refuse to take part if the League orders the game to be replayed.

The game was ended after 82 minutes when Robert Ullathorne limped off, reducing Neil Warnock's United team to six men.

Megson said: "There will be no replay. If we are called back to Bramall Lane we shall kick-off and then walk off the pitch.

"I've been in professional football since 16 and I'm 42 now. I've never ever witnessed anything as disgraceful as that.

"There is no place for that in any game of football, let alone professional football.

Football League spokesman John Nagle said: "The Football League has the authority to allow the result to stand, or to order the game to be replayed.

"The matter will be discussed at the league's board meeting on Thursday, following a full examination of the relevant information."

The afternoon began badly before kick-off with police forming a wall to prevent a pitch invasion by Baggies' fans.

When the action started, Blades' keeper Simon Tracy was sent off nine minutes into the game for handling Scott Dobie's shot outside the penalty area.

Deputy stopper Wilko de Vogt came on at the expense of Peter Ndlovu.

Ten-man Blades held out for ten minutes until Dobie scored his ninth goal of the season with a diving header from Andy Johnson's cross.

It was not until the 62nd minute that Albion added a second goal, with Derek McInnes powering home a shot from the edge of the penalty area.

The game exploded in the 65th minute when George Santos, who had come on seconds earlier, clattered into Andy Johnson and was sent off.

There was some history between the pair, Santos having his jaw broken by a swinging Johnson elbow while the Albion man was at Nottingham Forest.

In the skirmish that followed another substitute, Patrick Suffo, appeared to butt Baggies defender Darren Moore and was also dismissed.

The game degenerated into farce and United captain Keith Curle was lucky to escape a red card after appearing to land punches on McInnes.

A third goal for West Brom was inevitable and it came in the 77th minute when Moore headed a deep corner kick back across the goalline and Dobie pounced.

Blades' Michael Brown had already limped off in the 79th minute and Ullathorne's injury meant the game had to be stopped.






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