Madden's double helps Yeovil climb table with deserved win in Sheffield
Gary Johnson hailed victory at Sheffield United as arguably the best team performance of his first year back in charge of Yeovil Town.
The Glovers' boss celebrated 12 months at the helm with a return to the site of his opening game. However, a Paddy Madden double ensured there was no repeat of last term's 4-0 defeat, and took the visitors to within a point of npower League One's top six.
A jubilant Johnson said: "It was a fantastic performance. It was a colossal performance from our back players, a real strong running performance from our midfield four, and our front two have run their socks off.
"It was probably the best all-round performance because sometimes you have to convince yourself so that they [the players] get the confidence in themselves that they can come to Sheffield United and get a win like that.
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"I don't think anyone can go away and say we didn't deserve that result, not even an ardent Sheffield United fan is going to think that."
As he sought a response to Yeovil's midweek Johnstone's Paint Trophy exit at Leyton Orient, Johnson handed full debuts to Kevin Dawson and on-loan Matt Dolan.
Dawson started on the right of midfield ahead of Gavin Williams, whilst Middlesbrough's Dolan replaced Dom Blizzard in the centre of midfield. Sam Foley reverted to the left wing as Jamie McAllister moved to left-back.
Madden returned to partner James Hayter in attack, defender Richard Hinds effectively making way.
The former Carlisle United striker should have given the visitors an eighth-minute lead, pouncing on Harry Maguire's under-cooked header back to goalkeeper George Long, only to screw wide of the target when one on one.
On 20 minutes the Blades spurned arguably as equally as good a chance. Ryan Flynn burst forward into the box to meet a floated free-kick but his connection yards from goal was weak.
Two minutes later Tony McMahon went for goal with a 20-yard free-kick but Yeovil goalkeeper Marek Stech watched the effort creep wide.
Yeovil responded positively and an impressive phase of play culminated on 25 minutes with Hayter's hooked shot being touched over and Dolan driving just above the bar.
Seven minutes before the break, and with the hosts' faithful growing increasingly restless, Hayter went down under pressure from Maguire in the box. However, the lack of enthusiasm in appealing for a penalty reflected how cheap a spot-kick it would have been.
The Glovers' top scorer then benefited from an incisive passing move on the stroke of half-time but his first touch was poor, his turn not much better and shot wayward.
Madden soon made amends for a wasteful first half, capitalising on lax defending to forge ahead on 50 minutes. The Irishman received Byron Webster's flick and confidently ignored team-mates in better positions to create an angle to slide home.
Within two minutes, McMahon went close for the Blades, keeping Stech interested with a fierce drive from 30-yards.
It would prove to be the start of United's best spell of the game, with Yeovil digging deep to weather pressure and Dave Kitson only being denied by the deftest of deflections on 57 minutes.
However, it came to a comical end in the 65th minute as Madden notched a second goal. With the ball at his feet and with a choice between kicking long or passing short, goalkeeper Long instead gifted possession to the grateful striker, who rolled the ball over the line.
United failed to find the attacking fluency that characterised their earlier burst but were denied the chance to set up a tense finale with three minutes to go.
Referee David Phillips chose not to point to the spot when substitute Joe Ironside was dragged to the ground by Yeovil central defender Dan Burn, who was also forced into a gallant block in injury time.