Walsall 1 Sheffield Utd 1: Blades forced to settle for point at Saddlers

Jose Baxter celebrates his goal against Walsall. Picture: Martyn Harrison.
Jose Baxter celebrates his goal against Walsall. Picture: Martyn Harrison.
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STUTTERING Sheffield United are without a win in five after settling for a third successive away draw at Walsall.

Jose Baxter’s belter from distance gave the Blades the perfect start, before Saddlers’ substitute Ashley Grimes headed in the equaliser for the home side.

Ben Davies was denied by a brilliant save from goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell late on, but it was another frustrating night for Nigel Clough’s men, who remain just inside the play-off places.

The Blades began with intent, as Matt Done chested down and fired in a stinging half-volley, forcing a fine save from O’Donnell.

Baxter, restored to the starting line-up, quickly repaid his manager’s faith. The former Everton starlet thumped it home from 25 yards in front of the travelling supporters.

The visitors started strongly in the second half, but the tides turned with Walsall’s first substitution. Grimes had only been on the field for two minutes before he headed home from Ben Purkiss’s delivery to level.

Grimes then nearly grabbed his second in as many minutes as he struck the post.

Ben Davies came close to claiming victory for the Blades late on, but his effort was turned behind expertly by O’Donnell.

Walsall: O’Donnell, Purkiss, O’Connor, Downing, Benning, Forde, Mantom (Cain, 89), A. Chambers, Cook (Grimes, 69), Sawyers, Hiwula (Bakayoko, 85). Unused substitutes: MacGillivray, Baxendale, J. Chambers, Flanagan.

Sheffield United: Howard, Freeman, Brayford, McEveley, Harris, Holt (B. Davies, 87), Doyle, Reed (S. Davies, 74), Murphy, Baxter, Done (Flynn, 79). Unused substitutes: Turner, Alcock, McNulty, Adams.

Referee: Robert Lewis.