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Match Reports

Sheffield United Preview

27 April 2013

Sheffield United 0 PNE 0

Lee Holmes hit the cross bar as North End went closest, but it was the first goalless draw between the sides at Bramall Lane since 1906.

Both sides made four changes to their midweek defeats, with North End boss Simon Grayson recalling Declan Rudd, Keith Keane, Lee Holmes and Nicky Wroe for the Lilywhites’ final game of the 2012/13 season.

The first half’s only firework came not on the pitch but from a loud firecracker that went off in front of the North End faithful.

Other than a downpour of hailstones on six minutes the first half was not a memorable one with neither side testing their opponents’ stopper.

They traded the odd corner, but neither Rudd, playing the last game of his loan spell, or George Long were called into action, the best of the play from the navy clad PNE side coming on 35 minutes when a backheel from Lee Holmes sent David Buchanan down the left and his cross was aimed at King, but cleared by former PNE centre half Neill Collins just in time.

A half-time change saw Luke Foster on for Bailey Wright and the half was a lot brighter, Jamie Murphy seeing a shot blocked at one end and then North End breaking brilliantly on 52 minutes with Wroe finding Hayhurst and the first shot on target blocked superbly by Neill Collins.

A brilliant save from George Long on 56 denied Jack King the opener, his header from Holmes' right wing cross seemed destined for the top left hand corner until a brilliant hand from the young keeper denied him and from the resulting corner, sub Foster fired into the side netting.

There was almost a hand of God moment on 62 minutes, Blades substitute Chris Porter punching the ball into the net with his first touch - he was booked for his efforts!

North End were playing some nice football and on 66 minutes Nicky Wroe won a free kick just outside the left hand edge of the box. Lee Holmes took it and curled it round the wall but it hit the cross bar and into the PNE fans.

With just four minutes left John Welsh fired a rocket from 25 yards that flashed past the left hand post - the skipper had been superb in the middle of the park and deserved a goal for his efforts.

Injury time saw am additional four minutes added on with North End breaking clear and Monakana threading Jack King one-on-one, but the referee somehow saw a foul.

In the final minute a Luke Foster block from Jamie Murphy kept the scores level and the game ended all-square.

: Long, Westlake, Maguire, Hill, Doyle, McDonald (Whitehouse, 76), Kitson (Porter, 60), Collins, Murphy, Ironside, McFadzean (Robson, 71). Subs not used: Forte, Chapell, Barry, Coyne.Sheffield United line-up

: Rudd, Keane (Procter, 80), Huntington, Wroe, Holmes, Buchanan, Welsh, Mousinho, King, Hayhurst (Monakana, 65), Wright (Foster, 46). Subs not used: Stuckmann, Cummins, Byrom, Garner.PNE line-up

: 19,888 (1,114 PNE fans)Attendance

: Mr S RushtonReferee

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