128 years ago today – Sheffield United play for the first time at Bramall Lane

Following their win against Wolves last night Sheffield United have now won 7 of their 10 Championship games this season and sit second in the League table. In fact there is no club in any of the four leagues who can match United’s win rate, if you start counting from the beginning of last season.
128 years ago their start could not be any more disappointing.United’s first game at Bramall Lane did not come until 28 September 1889 against Birmingham St George’s of the Football Alliance which they lost 4–0. They had been formed on the 22nd of March and had played a practice match Hallam FC ground on the 20th August. United played its first competitive game against Notts. Rangers FC, of the Midland Counties League, on 7 September 1889, losing 4–1 at Meadow Lane; W. Robertson from Dundee, scored United’s first ever competitive goal. Following this game Heeley FC was chosen to be the first Sheffield opponents and this match was played on the Sheaf House ground. United won 2-1, the two goals coming from James Duncan and S. Mack , and the game was watched by 2,200 spectators.
More information on the foundation of Sheffield United in my new book :’A History of Sheffield Football 1857-1889: Speed, Science and Bottom’  http://bit.ly/2qYw0r0
Having battled through four qualifying rounds of the F.A. Cup in its first season United beat Burnley 2-1 in the first round proper but was drawn against another powerful Lancashire club, Bolton Wanderers FC, who won by thirteen clear goals; this remains United’s heaviest ever defeat. Some compensation was gained from being the losing finalist in the replayed final of the Sheffield Association Challenge Cup with Rotherham Town winning by a goal to nil, a game played at the ground of the Rotherham Swifts. In spite of not belonging to an organised League in the first season, United played a total of fifty-seven friendlies and Cup games.