CLOUGH UPSET AT STALEMATE
STRUGGLERS Crawley frustrated promotion chasing Sheffield United as Marc McNulty’s penalty cancelled out Richard Wood’s deft header.
Former Sheffield Wednesday defender Wood flicked past Iain Turner after Anthony Wordsworth’s delightful free kick to give Dean Saunders’ side an unlikely lead.
But substitute McNulty equalised from the penalty spot after Matt Done had been hauled down by Red Devils’ full back Ryan Dickson.
With MK Dons and Swindon both dropping points, United boss Nigel Clough was disappointed to have dropped points, despite lengthening their unbeaten run.
Clough said: “It felt like two points dropped.We dominated at times but didn’t quite get a break in the box.
“Better decision making and picking the right pass when we did get into good position could have won us the game.
“When one of these days where you play well but can’t score come around you usually lose, so in that sense we are happy to get a draw.
“Others losing in and around the play offs means we’ll keep going.
“We are six games unbeaten which is important too, but see where we are in six weeks’ time.”
The home side walked onto the pitch to the theme of the Great Escape as they looked for a vital third win in a row.
They had to sit deep to weather a United half-long onslaught but for all the Blades’ monopoly of possession, they could only muster two first-half strikes
Red keeper Lewis Price made an excellent double save to deny Jamie Murphy’s palm stinger before instinctively touching over Jamie Doyle’s follow up.
The visitors stepped out after half time feverously trying to grab the goal their domination deserved, Brayford galloping forward before finding Price at full stretch.
Crawley took a shock lead when Wood netted his first goal for the club on his second appearance since joining on loan from Rotherham to boost the Reds’ hopes of staying in League One at the end of the season.
But McNulty slotted straight down the middle from the spot to net his 12th goal of the season and extend the Blades’ unbeaten run to six games.
And Crawley’s boss Saunders was incensed his side were not awarded a penalty when striker Izale McLeod was barged over by Jay McEveley.
“I couldn’t see the penalty for them, but Izale was definitely fouled and their player should have been sent off.
“He got in front of Jay McEveley and some refs would have given it, I don’t know why this one didn’t.
“My players are devastated in the dressing room, they think they should have won the game.
“Another big club have come here and struggled. “On reflection we would have taken a point but the way we had been playing we expected to win today.”
SPOT ON: Marc McNulty of Sheffield United scores his penalty HAVE THAT: Crawley’s Richard Wood scores the opener on his home debut