Blades 1-1 Crawley - report
Marlon King's first Blades goal earned the Blades a point in Friday evening's home encounter with Crawley Town.
The striker turned the ball home to cancel out Jamie Proctor's first half goal to halt a run of six straight defeats.
The Blades were the side pushing for the winner late on and the endeavours earned applause from the Bramall Lane faithful at the final whistle.
Loanee Lappin, whose signature was secured earlier on Friday, started at left-back, at the expense of Hill, who, along with the fit-again Murphy, was on the bench. For Crawley, former Blades youngster Kyle McFadzean, brother of Callum, was skipper of the visitors and former Lane loan striker Clarke was part of their forward line.
The game's first opportunity fell to Crawley but Clarke's effort was deflected over the crossbar. The Blades, kicking towards the Kop in the first half, were awarded a free-kick when Baxter was fouled but Hall's curler was straight at goalkeeper Jones.
Trouble, however, was just moments away. Crawley's pre-planned corner routine caught out United and after Drury and Clarke linked up, PROCTOR was well-positioned at the back post to nod home from just a yard.
The Kop sang to try and lift the mood but McMahon and Sadler were booked after a tangle and the latter had a great chance to make it two on 22 minutes but fired wide when in the clear.
United hit back with a spell of possession and a number of set-pieces, including one which Collins met with glancing header which flew wide. Soon after Cuvelier hobbled off and was replaced by Coady.
Crawley, on the break, registered the final chances of the half, but Proctor and Adams were both off target with their efforts from the edge of the box.
United did have a huge appeal for a penalty turned down though, in injury-time when Walsh's poor control saw the ball pop up and hit his hand but referee Tierney was unmoved.
Early in the second half United had another penalty appeal turned down, this time Doyle's effort struck Jones but only a corner was given and then, if evidence was needed that the home side's luck was out, it arrived on 54 minutes when McMahon's 25-yard free-kick beat goalkeeper Jones and struck the inside of a post but still stayed out!
Crawley also had a penalty shout turned down, when Maguire challenged Adams, whilst Clarke also had a shot which was comfortably saved by Long.
Taylor replaced Hall and the Blades got back into the game on 63 minutes with a neat move. Coady's pass to Brandy set the move up and the latter picked the run of KING, who coolly slotted past Jones from the left channel before setting off to celebrate with boss Weir.
Yet another Blades penalty appeal was turned down when Walsh and Brandy collided, whilst Collins headed over a Baxter free-kick and Taylor lashed wide on 74 minutes.
The Blades displayed the more attacking intent in the final 15 minutes and went close late on when Coady and King linked up, resulting in the former's controlled shot being turned around the post by Jones.
Murphy replaced the tiring Brandy but late on Maguire was forced to make a tackle to keep out Clarke and Long saved from Torres.
Four minutes of injury-time arrived with a Blades corner and late on a Murphy shot was touched around the post by Jones as the home side's attempts for a late winner were not forthcoming.
Blades: Long, Hall (Taylor 60), Maguire, Doyle, Baxter, Collins, Cuvelier (Coady 37), King, Brandy (Murphy 87), Lappin, McMahon.
Unused: Howard, Westlake, Hill, McGinn.
Crawley: P. Jones, Sadler, McFadzean, Clarke, Drury (Hurst 79), Simpson, Walsh, Proctor (Alexander 68), Bulman, Adams (Torres 88), M. Jones.
Unused: Connolly, Rooney, Sinclair, Maddison.