CLOUGH UP­SET AT STALE­MATE

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Alex Smith

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.”

PIC­TURES: Simon Roe/TGSPHOTO

SPOT ON: Marc McNulty of Sh­effield United scores his penalty HAVE THAT: Craw­ley’s Richard Wood scores the opener on his home de­but

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