Gray goal secures stalemate
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Turf Moor welcomed a new era under Steve Cotterill's stewardship with a battling display in a fiery 1-1 draw with Sheffield United.Turf Moor welcomed a new era under Steve Cotterill's stewardship with a battling display in a fiery 1-1 draw with Sheffield United.
The football was far pretty in a frenetic encounter, that if nothing else showed that Burnley chief has invested in three new defenders who are strong and resolute in the air.
Both sides in truth sides showed an absolute dearth of wit and invention and it was no surprise that the opening goal was a scrappy affair.
Richard Chaplow retrieved the ball on the left flank, turned adroitly and when his delivery was not dealt with, Micah Hyde was on hand to bundle home in the six yard box on his debut.
In a first half that was meagre with its chances, Danny Coyne earned his pay with an excellent stop from Sheffield United's Jon Harley - who was also making his full debut.
The same player missed The Blades' other major chance of half, when he failed to connect properly with a free header from an Andy Liddell delivery.
In the second period, Neil Warnock's side had the most of the possession, when the ball was not in the air, and Andy Gray's 52nd minute leveller was probably well deserved.
The goal came from a controversially twice taken throw-in, which when it landed on the head of Gray, he dispatched through a crowd of bodies.
The Clarets then needed valiant defending to protect their point in an almighty goal mouth scramble, before Blades skipper Chris Morgan squandered an opportunity he should have converted.
Substitute Ashley Ward hit the bar late on for United, but a draw was probably the fairest result for two sides full of endeavor but little quality on Saturday's showing.