Toothless Blades earn draw
Shot-shy Sheffield United escaped with a goalless draw from the first leg of their npower League One play-off semi-final at Stevenage.
Boro, looking for a third successive promotion having been in the Conference just two years ago, came agonisingly close to grabbing a vital lead when Craig Reid's shot hit the crossbar. But Danny Wilson's United, pipped by city rivals Wednesday to automatic promotion last weekend, should now be in the driving seat for Monday's second leg at Bramall Lane. However, the Blades' record in the play-offs will not inspire much confidence, with five failures from five attempts, while they have not beaten Stevenage, who finished 17 points behind them, in three matches this season. Four minutes before the break the hosts were inches from going ahead, Reid's dipping 20-yard shot beating Blades goalkeeper Steve Simonsen but not the bar. United improved in the second half and Boro keeper Chris Day was eventually called into action after an hour, comfortably dealing with Lee Williamson's low drive from outside the area. But neither side looked capable of making the breakthrough, and another nervy affair looks on the cards in three days' time with Wembley just 90 minutes away.