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Selhurst Park (ATT 22,824) 3rd May 2009 - Kick off 13:15 Ref: C Foy

C Palace Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United Sheff Utd

Blades settle for third

Palace hold Sheff Utd to goalless draw

Last Updated: 03/05/09 4:06pm

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Warnock: Thwarted former club

Warnock: Thwarted former club

Sheffield United were unable to secure automatic promotion to the Premier League after being held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace.

The Blades needed to win and hope that Birmingham dropped points against reading, but they could not keep their part of the bargain at Selhurst Park.

Former Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock, now in charge at Palace, saw his troops defend resolutely in a game of few chances at either end.

The Blades' first opportunity came after 11 minutes. A clearance from Paddy Kenny released David Cotterill down the right-hand side.

He cut infield and sent an arrow-like cross to the far post where Darius Henderson was arriving unmarked.

But the pace of the ball was just too much for the Blades striker and, at full stretch, he powered his header wide.

Volleyed wide

At the other end, Neil Danns volleyed wide after the ball dropped to him on the edge of the area following a corner.

The latest of several long throws into the box from Kyle Walker ricocheted into Cotterill's path midway through the first half, but the former Bristol City striker snatched at the chance and blazed his shot over the crossbar from the edge of the six yard box.

United continued to apply pressure and only a fine save from Julian Speroni to push Chris Morgan's downward header over the crossbar kept the Blades at bay just after the half-hour mark.

Soon afterwards, Cotterill's shot from the right-hand side of the box had Speroni scrambling across his goal.

Two minutes into the second half Victor Moses broke clear but, with two defenders in tow, shot straight at Kenny.

Danns was guilty of a glaring miss after 57 minutes when Nick Carle poked the ball past the Blades' backline.

With just Kenny to beat the former Colchester midfielder dragged his shot wide from 15 yards.

Best chance

Arguably the game's best chance came after 62 minutes. Ward created space for himself in a crowded area with a neat piece of control on his chest.

But just as the 7,465 travelling Blades fans were poised to celebrate, Speroni rushed from his line to block the ball six yards out.

Immediately afterwards, Speroni then tipped Greg Halford's far post header over the crossbar.

Morgan striking a post with a header in injury-time confirmed that it was not to be Sheffield United's day.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Watford 12 24
2 Derby County 12 23
3 Middlesbrough 12 23
4 Norwich City 12 21
5 Nottingham Forest 12 21
6 Ipswich Town 12 20
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 20
8 Charlton Athletic 12 19
9 Bournemouth 12 18
10 Brentford 12 18
11 Sheffield Wednesday 12 17
12 Cardiff City 12 16
13 Blackburn Rovers 12 16
14 Leeds United 12 15
15 Rotherham United 12 15
16 Reading 12 15
17 Huddersfield Town 12 15
18 Millwall 12 13
19 Wigan Athletic 12 11
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 12 11
21 Birmingham City 12 11
22 Fulham 12 10
23 Bolton Wanderers 12 8
24 Blackpool 12 6

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