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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:50 9th March 2013

Blades 0-0 MK Dons - report

The Blades were applauded off after Saturday's stalemate with MK Dons.


Danny Wilson's side showed most of the attacking intent in the 0-0 draw, which enabled the Blades to record a sixth consecutive clean sheet.


Murphy returned to the Blades starting line-up following his groin problem, Poleon dropped to the bench, where he was joined by Higginbotham and Forte.


Despite United being forced to kick towards the Kop in the first half, the Blades fans were in fine voice from the start, responding to Danny Wilson's pre-match calls for positivity.


Murphy began from the left, allowing Robson to operate centrally with Kitson and a couple of tasty tackles set the scene. United started well, won the game's first corners and Robson tested goalkeeper McLouglin in the slippery conditions with a long-range shot after six minutes.


The Dons weathered the early Blades pressure and hit back with a dangerous free-kick and corner but the home side were quickly back on the offensive. From a McMahon cross, a header from Kitson was straight at McLoughlin, whilst a Robson volley on 25 minutes was on target but hit a defender in a crowded penalty area.


On the half hour there was the strange situation of a linesman giving offside from a goal-kick but he was helped out by the man in the middle, eventually. The referee's next action was to book Maguire for sliding in on Chicksen.


McMahon was off target after a neat build-up and United were applying the pressure again as half-time approached. The best chance of the half came on 44 minutes when Lewington was robbed by the double act of Flynn and Kitson, resulting in the latter crossing for Robson, who headed just over when arching his back.


The Blades players were applauded off at the break but were forced to defend early in the second period, Bowditch whipping in a free-kick which Kay headed over. Murphy had a couple of runs at the Dons defence but he was the first United change, being replaced by Forte on the left.


Forte almost made a quick impression when he beat the offside trap to latch onto a McDonald pass but McLoughlin got just enough of his body onto the shot to deflected the ball wide.


There was a nervous moment for Blades fans on 76 minutes when Bamford went down under a Doyle challenge in the penalty area - fortunately, the official blew to caution Bamford for a dive. United's own spot-kick appeals were turned down when Flynn went down after connection with Williams but the referee again waved play on


In the final ten minutes Poleon replaced Robson and the substitute almost got on the end of a Doyle pass, but the visiting goalkeeper was quickly off his line. McDonald fired just over the angle of post and crossbar.


Roared on by the crowd, the Blades continued on the front foot as the game neared the 90 minute mark. Gleeson fired wide of the near post for the visitors but as three extra minutes was announced, the home side were still on the attack, winning a couple of corners.


However, the hard-working Blades were unable to find a winner, the last chance being Collins attempting to get onto a Doyle free-kick.


Blades: Long, Maguire, Hill, Flynn, Doyle, McDonald, Kitson, Collins, Robson (Poleon 83), Murphy (Forte 62), McMahon.
Unused: Westlake, Higginbotham, Ironside, McFadzean, Coyne.


MK Dons: McLoughlin, Lewington, Williams, Potter, Bowditch, Smith (Bamford 58), Chicksen, Lowe, (Gleeson 69) Powell (Doumbe 32), Lines, Kay.
Unused: Otsemobor, McLeod, Flanagan, Baldock.