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Bramall Lane (ATT 29,226) 30th August 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: C Webster

Sheff Utd Sheffield United vs Cardiff City Cardiff

Bluebirds hold Blades

Goalless draw at Bramall Lane

Last Updated: 30/08/08 6:20pm

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Henderson: Close for Blades

Henderson: Close for Blades

Cardiff City maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a hard fought goalless draw with Sheffield United.

The Blades pushed hard in the second half at Bramall Lane - but they could not find a way through against Dave Jones's well-marshalled Bluebirds.

United signalled their intent early on as Greg Halford flashed a shot wide of Tom Heaton's right-hand post after just three minutes.

Scottish striker Ross McCormack, who has netted four goals already this season, looked lively in the early exchanges and poked a shot wide after outpacing Ugo Ehiogu as the visitors looked to exert some pressure.

United's strikeforce combined to great effect midway through the first half and only a woeful finish from Darius Henderson prevented them from taking the lead.

After seeing off the attention of his marker, Billy Sharp chipped a teasing cross to the edge of the six-yard box from where Henderson sent his header agonisingly wide of the left-hand post.

The Blades were nearly made to pay for their profligacy just a minute later when Joe Ledley's volley went away from Paddy Kenny's far post before Bothroyd fired into the arms of Kenny when it looked easier to score.

United started the second period in thunderous fashion and Ehiogu saw his header loop just over the crossbar after Halford launched an enormous throw into the area.

The closest the visitors came to breaking the deadlock in the early stages of the second period was through Ledley's low 25-yard shot which Kenny collected comfortably.

David Cotterill's introduction midway through the second period brought with it an injection of dynamism and it was his penetrating runs down the right which looked the most likely source of the opening goal for the hosts.

The potent attacking threat offered by the visitors in the opening period had all but evaporated and it was left entirely to the Blades to push for a winner.

They might well have had it from the penalty spot had the referee not waved away furious appeals from United after Henderson collapsed in the area following a challenge from Darren Purse.

Beattie's late introduction sparked a mini-revival in United but for all their

pressing they were unable to test Heaton with anything other than a series of

high crosses in the closing stages.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23

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