SHEFFIELD United and Doncaster Rovers couldn’t find a goal between them at Bramall Lane this evening.
The 0-0 draw was met with some criticism from Bramall Lane fans, some of whom vented their anger at the final whistle.
The Blades had shown two changes to the side held to a 1-1 draw by Bury on Saturday, Ryan Cresswell and Marcus Williams coming in for John Cofie and Darryl Westlake respectively, against Doncaster Rovers.
With Billy Paynter failing to recover from a thigh injury, Rovers named an unchanged starting line-up
Rovers twice went close to taking the lead in the first minute - keeper Mark Howard’s palmed clearance from Martin Woods 20 yarder falling nicely for striker Chris Brown who also tested the United shot-stopper.
United’s first real raid ended with striker Richard Cresswell firing over with an angled shot from about 12 yards.
Rovers had enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the first 15 minutes without ever troubling Howard again.
Rovers keeper Gary Woods, who was at full stretch to push the ball over the bar, saved well from Tony McMahon’s angled shot from just outside the box at the expense of a 19th minute corner.
Woods was again called into action a couple of minutes later, palming away a goalbound header by in-form striker Nick Blackman.
United’s new loan signing Paul Gallagher, who was operating on the right of midfield, tried his luck with a long-range effort just after the half-hour mark, but Woods had it covered all the way.
Doncaster centre-back Jamie McCombe almost headed into his own goal ten minutes from the break and the fans behind Woods’ goal breathed a collective sigh of relief as the ball cleared the crossbar for a corner.
Midfielder David Syers shot wide of the near post after racing into the United box in Rovers first attack of note for some time.
Syers just failed to get on the end of a ball into the box by David Cotterill in the 45th minute following a lengthy spell of United pressure.
Defender Paul Quinn did well to get a block on Blackman’s close range shot on 54 minutes. United failed to gain any advantage from the resulting corner.
Doncaster striker Chris Brown was booked for a foul two minutes later.
Woods got down well to smother Gallagher’s angled shot at the near post. He then plucked a right-wing cross by Marcus Williams out of the air under pressure from Blackman,
It had been all United so far in the second half.
Doncaster skipper Rob Jones was booked for a 65th minute foul on Mahon.
Both sides made substitutions two minutes later - Dave Kitson replacing Cresswell and former Blade James Harper taking over from Syers.
McCombe got a header on target in the 73rd minute - Rovers first effort on goal this half - but Howard had it covered all the way.
Blackman shot over after Woods, who looked to have been fouled after coming off his line, failed to hold on the ball and it fell nicely for the United striker.
Both sides made late changes, Cofie coming on for United and James Husband and Robbie Blake for Rovers.
Williams was booked in stoppage time,
Boos rung around the ground at the final whistle.
Sheffield United: Howard, McMahon, Collins, McGuire, Hill ,Williams, McAllister, McDonald, Gallagher, Blackman, Creswell. Substitutes: Westlake, Porter, Miller, Kitson, Cofie, Chappell, Long.
Doncaster Rovers: G Woods, Quinn, Jones, McCombe, Spurr, Keegan,Cotterill, M Woods, Syers, Bennett, Brown. Substitutes:Husband, Martis, Blake, Maxted, Hume, Harper.
Read a full analysis in Wednesday’s Star.