Pilgrims thwarted by Blades
Sheffield United battle for point at Plymouth
Last Updated: 21/02/09 6:43pm
Gallagher: On target for Plymouth
Sheffield United twice came from behind to hold Plymouth to a 2-2 draw in an entertaining clash at Home Park.
The first half was goalless before Carl Fletcher's opener for the Pilgrims was cancelled out by Danny Webber.
Paul Gallagher then made it 2-1 to Plymouth in the 70th minute but the Blades responded again as Greg Halford grabbed an equaliser.
Plymouth were unlucky not to lead at the interval after enjoying their fair share of possession and chances in a lively opening half.
On-loan midfielder Alan Judge came the closest to breaking the deadlock, when his effort hit the post, while United striker Webber was also lively, twice forcing smart saves from Romain Larrieu.
Webber was the first to chance his arm with a low drive that whistled wide of the post and United's early promise continued as Matthew Kilgallon planted a free-header over the bar after some tidy work from David Cotterill had forced a corner.
Plymouth then found their feet, with Jamie Mackie seeing an effort rebound off Kilgallon, before the striker had a claim for a penalty turned down by referee Andy Woolmer after he appeared to be felled by Chris Morgan.
Fletcher then wasted a good chance as he blazed over following a scramble in the area, before United enjoyed a rich spell of possession and carved out three good chances, all of which were snuffed out by Larrieu.
Halford saw his header clawed away, before Webber twice drew good stops from the Frenchman, the latter after a menacing run from the striker.
But Plymouth closed the half out the stronger of the two sides, with Judge firing over from distance before rattling the woodwork after some good work from David Gray had created the chance.
Mackie put the ball in the net almost immediately after the restart but the goal was ruled out for an earlier offence by Rory Fallon but it mattered little as Fletcher was soon opening his account for the home side.
United failed to deal with Gallagher's corner and, after Gary Sawyer had teed him up, Fletcher - who only joined the club from Crystal Palace on Friday - made no mistake in keeping his head over the ball and hitting a crisp half-volley beyond Paddy Kenny.
Karl Duguid could have extended the lead moments later but failed to keep the ball down inside the box, before Cotterill warmed the hands of Larrieu with a strike from distance.
But United did manage to pull level with their hosts, when Webber made no mistake in slotting home after taking full advantage of a fatal error from Larrieu.
There was no danger as he shaped to clear, only for his kick to land short and at the feet of Webber who raced towards the goal and gratefully slotted home his fifth of the season.
Plymouth roared back, though, and regained the lead with 20 minutes remaining, as Gallagher cutely side-footed home from the edge of the area after a deft flick from Fallon.
But, rather than being able to consolidate their lead, they were soon reeling from another equaliser, as Halford ghosted in at the back post to nod home Gary Naysmith's cross.
The former Sunderland man then failed to hit the target from distance as both sides failed to find a winner.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 21st Feb
N Forest1 - 3Derby
Barnsley0 - 0Charlton
Plymouth2 - 2Sheff Utd
Blackpool0 - 2Watford
Reading0 - 2Bristol C
So'ton3 - 1Preston
Norwich1 - 1Burnley
Sheff Wed2 - 0C Palace
Coventry1 - 0Birm'ham
Swansea3 - 1Doncaster
QPR1 - 3Ipswich
Sky Bet Championship
|18||Brighton and Hove Albion||33||37|