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16:50 8th November 2014

Crewe 0-0 Blades - report

United's dominance in Saturday's FA Cup first round tie at Crewe Alexandra was not rewarded with a victory.

A replay is needed on Tuesday 18th November to decide who wins the second round place.

The Blades were on top for most of this encounter but Jamie Murphy was adjudged offside when he slotted home and Bob Harris clipped the crossbar.

Boss Clough again made changes, three in total, with Basham, Flynn and Reed all starting. They came in for McCarthy, whose loan expired, Wallace, who had not recovered from last weekend's injury, whilst Scougall dropped to the bench.

There was an interesting make-up to United's team with Basham starting in the heart of the defence alongside McEveley, whilst Murphy kicked off as the central striker, flanked and supported by Campbell-Ryce and Flynn.

In the yellow change strip, the Blades looked the brighter in the opening exchanges. It took just two minutes for Murphy to deliver a low cross which Flynn reached but was overstretching as he toed the ball wide.

Harris supplied the low cross on 10 minutes which both Murphy and Flynn managed to have touches inside the six yard box but neither could divert towards goal. Murphy and Alcock were also off target with efforts from outside the box.

Just before the half hour Murphy charged down an attempted clearance from goalkeeper Garratt, fortunately for the home side the ball dropped to safety, and Crewe's first serious effort was following a half-cleared corner before Leigh shot over on 36 minutes.

As half-time approached, Campbell-Ryce created space for Flynn but his cross evaded both Murphy and Baxter and the final chance before the referee's whistle fell to Campbell-Ryce, but he sliced over.

The first opportunity of the second half dropped to the Blades. Baxter and Campbell-Ryce were both involved in a quick corner but Reed's shot was blocked. Haber's effort was deflected wide for the home side but United were quickly back on the offensive and an unmarked Baxter sidefooted wide on 56 minutes after Campbell-Ryce's lay-off.

From Doyle's pass, Campbell-Ryce, now operating centrally, went around goalkeeper Garratt but went too wide to get a shot away and Scougall, on for Baxter, threaded a pass for Murphy to slide the ball home but he was adjudged offside.

For the home side, Jones shot wide from Baillie's cross and Clough threw on a second substitution, De Girolamo taking over from Flynn. However, it was the other replacement, Scougall, who went close on 70 minutes, drifting through three defenders before seeing his shot bundled around a post by the goalkeeper.

Murphy fired across goal and De Girolamo went down under a challenge from Davis but no penalty was forthcoming. On 82 minutes, Murphy's pull back resulted in Harris clipping the top of the Crewe crossbar with a curling effort.

In the final five minutes, De Girolamo went close with a low shot from Murphy's threaded pass and Turton shot wide for Crewe. There was a big appeal for Garratt handling out of his box late on but the referee and his assistant were satisfied the goalkeeper hadn't.

Crewe: Garratt, Guthrie, Davis, Dugdale, Turton, Atkinson (Jones 45), Cooper (Waters 85), Baillie, Leigh (Inman 80), Haber, Grant.
Unused: Shearer, Saunders, Ng, Ness.

Blades: Howard, Alcock, Harris, Basham, Flynn (De Girolamo 69), Doyle, Murphy, Baxter (Scougall 61), McEveley, Campbell-Ryce, Reed.
Unused: McGinn, McGahey, Porter, Turner, Kennedy.